NEW YORK — Louis Sunday He was hungry between the first and second overtimes on Tuesday, so the Pittsburgh Penguins’ backup goalie found some food in the locker room that was originally reserved for postgame distribution.
“Spicy pork and broccoli,” Domingue said. “Not good.”
It certainly wouldn’t seem like the best meal for a goalie who minutes later had to jump out of the chair he was sitting in in the Zamboni inning for 4 1/2 periods of Stanley Cup Playoff hockey in order to get into the game in the middle of the second extension.
But clearly there was some magic in that food.
With a full belly, Domingue made 17 saves after relieving casey smith with 10:42 remaining, and the Penguins cruised to a 4–3 victory against the New York Rangers in the third overtime in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Madison Square Garden.
Yevgeny Malkin he scored the winning goal at 5:58. Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is here on Thursday.
“Honestly, I felt good right away,” Domingue said. “I felt zero pressure. You dream about it your whole life. You’re playing in overtime in the playoffs. Are you kidding me? You think you’d be nervous going into a situation like that, but it was fun for me.”
It’s unclear if Domingue will start Game 2. Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said after the game that DeSmith was being evaluated for a lower-body injury.
“We’ll see how it goes, but the way it is now, Casey is out,” Sullivan said. “His status of him is day to day. We’ll see what happens, what we get tomorrow and make decisions accordingly.”
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Domingue was the backup goalie for Game 1 because the Penguins don’t have tristan jarrytheir No. 1 goalkeeper, who has been out since suffering a lower-body injury on April 14.
Jarry isn’t an option for Game 2. He hasn’t started skating.
So it could be Domingue’s net for what would be his first NHL playoff start and fourth overall since the start of last season.
Domingue, the Penguins’ No. 3 goalie, played in two NHL games this season. He spent most of the season with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League.
“To me, I know Louis is amazing,” Malkin said. “He’s big (6-foot-3, 208 pounds). He’s fast. It’s hard to score on Louis in practice.”
The Penguins’ confidence in Domingue should be higher now after the way he helped them out of a dire situation.
“I think Louis did a great job,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “That’s not an easy task when you’re sitting on the bench for so long. It’s hard enough in a normal game, not to mention the overtime we played. He was sitting on the bench for a long time.”
Correction point: Domingue was sitting in the corner by Zamboni’s entrance because he said he was benched early in the game.
“There’s not much room,” he said, laughing. “I guess the tickets are more expensive next to the glass than they cut the bench.”
It’s not easy to sit on the other side of the glass like that.
“I’d be lying if I said I was engaged the whole time,” Domingue said. “There comes a time when you’re also a fan, you just want your team to score. I was just there, watching. It comes to you fast, it’s crazy.”
Video: Malkin leads Penguins to Game 1 triple overtime victory
Domingue said he first saw DeSmith skate to the bench and wasn’t sure why the umpires blew the whistle to stop the game.
It wasn’t until DeSmith started to skate in his direction and Zamboni’s doors were flung open that he realized it was his turn for his second NHL playoff game. He made seven saves in relief for the Tampa Bay Lightning during a 4-2 loss to the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on May 7, 2018.
“I happen to know the two umpires who were there, Jonny Murray and Frederick L’Ecuyer, both French, and I honestly thought they were kidding me when they said I had to come in,” Domingue said. “After that, you just go out there and play. It was crazy, but I guess that’s my life. It’s hockey.”
Made a save on the Rangers defenseman adam fox and grabbed the puck in the stomach four seconds after entering the game.
“A shot to the belly is exactly what you need to get into a game like that,” Domingue said.
Domingue made 13 more saves in the second overtime and three in the third before Malkin ended the 4-hour, 38-minute Game 1 marathon with a defenseman deflection. Juan MarinoShot from the tip.
“I think he did a great job, under really difficult circumstances,” Sullivan said.
Despite the spicy pork and broccoli, of course.
“It wasn’t there yet,” Domingue said of eating her food. “What are you going to do?”