Domingue pushes the Penguins off the bench in Game 1 victory over Rangers

NEW YORK — Louis Domingue He was hungry between the first and second overtime on Tuesday, so the Pittsburgh reserve goalkeeper Penguins found some food in the locker room that was originally reserved for the post-match spread.

“Spicy pork and broccoli,” Domingue said. “Not good.”

It certainly wouldn’t seem like the best meal for a goalkeeper who a few minutes later had to jump from the chair in which Zamboni was sitting at the entrance for 4 and a half periods of the Stanley Cup playoffs in order to enter the game in the middle of the second overtime.

But clearly there was magic in that meal.

With a full stomach, Domingue made 17 saves after relieving Casey De Smith with 10:42 remaining, the Penguins won 4-3 against the New York Rangers in the third overtime in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Madison Square Garden.

Evgeni Malkin scored the winning goal at 5:58. Game 2 of the best of 7 series is here on Thursday.

“Honestly, I immediately felt good,” said Domingue. “I felt zero pressure. You dream about it all your life. You’re playing extra time in the playoffs. Are you kidding me? You think you’d be nervous going into that, but it was just fun for me.”

It is unclear whether Domingue will start Game 2. Penguins manager Mike Sullivan said after the game that DeSmith had been assessed for a lower body injury.

“We’ll see how it goes, but as far as Casey is right now, he is out,” Sullivan said. “The state of him is day by day. We will see what happens, what we will achieve tomorrow and we will make decisions accordingly.”

[RELATED: Complete Rangers vs. Penguins series coverage]

Domingue was the reserve goalkeeper for Game 1 because the Penguins are without Tristan Jarrytheir goalkeeper n. 1, who has been out since suffering a lower body injury on April 14.

Jarry is not an option for Game 2. He hasn’t started skating.

So it could be Domingue’s network for what would be his first NHL playoff start and fourth ever since the start of last season.

Domingue, the Penguins’ No. 3 goalkeeper, has played 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 incredible,” Malkin said. “He’s big (6ft-3,208lbs). He’s fast. It’s hard to score on Louis in training.”

The Penguins’ confidence in Domingue should be higher now after the way he expressed for them in a dire situation.

“I thought Louis did a great job,” said Pittsburgh manager Mike Sullivan. “It’s not an easy task when you’ve been sitting on the bench for so long. It’s hard enough in a normal game, not to mention the extra time we’ve played. He’s been on the bench for a long time.”

Correction point: Domingue was sitting in the corner near Zamboni’s entrance because he said he was sent off the bench at the start of the match.

“Not much space,” he said, laughing. “I guess the tickets are more expensive near the glass 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’m engaged all the time,” Domingue said. “There comes a time when you’re a fan too, you just want your team to score. I was just there, watching. It comes quickly, it’s crazy.”

Video: Malkin leads the Penguins to triple OT victory in Race 1

Domingue said he first saw DeSmith skate on the bench and was unsure why the referees whistled to stop the game.

It wasn’t until DeSmith began skating in his direction and Zamboni’s doors swung open that he realized it was his turn for his second NHL playoff game. He made seven relief saves for the Tampa Bay Lightning during a 4-2 defeat to the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final on May 7, 2018.

“It happened that I know both referees who were there, Jonny Murray and Frederick L’Ecuyer, both French guys, and I honestly thought they were joking with me when they said I had to get in,” said Domingue. “Then go out and play. It was crazy, but I guess it’s my life. It’s hockey.”

He saved the Rangers defender Adam Fox and he clung to the puck in his gut four seconds after he entered the game.

“A belly hit is exactly what you need to get into a game like this,” said Domingue.

Domingue made 13 more saves in the second overtime and three in the third overtime before Malkin finished the 4-hour 38-minute marathon Race 1 with a deflection from the defender Giovanni MarinoIt is shot from the point.

“I thought he did a great job, under really tough circumstances,” Sullivan said.

Of course, despite the spicy pork and broccoli.

“I wasn’t there yet,” Domingue said of her meal. “What are you going to do?”

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