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Penguins goalie Domingue claims the crown of Pittsburgh with his playoff performance

Louis Domingue of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates in warmups prior to the game against the New York Rangers in Game 2 of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 5 in New York City.
Bruce Bennett
/
Getty Images
Louis Domingue of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates in warmups prior to the game against the New York Rangers in Game 2 of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 5 in New York City.

There's a new king of Pittsburgh and his name is Louis Domingue.

Domingue, the third-string goalie for the Pittsburgh Penguins, has become the unexpected star of the playoff series against the New York Rangers which Pittsburgh is currently up 3-1.

The 30-year-old Canadian went into Game 1 of the series during the second overtime period and proceeded to make 17 saves as the game entered a third overtime period. The Penguins won 4-3 over the Rangers.

As if his performance wasn't enough, Domingue became even more of a new fan favorite when he revealed that in between the first and second overtime periods he had a non-traditional snack.

"I actually had quite the meal in between the first and second overtime," Domingue said in an interview. "I didn't expect going in, but maybe it sustained my energy."

But what was the meal in question?

"Some spicy pork and broccoli – not the best," he added.

Since his showstopping performance in Game 1, Domingue went on to start Games 2, 3 and 4 – quite the unexpected turn of events for the backup to the backup.

Domingue said the experience has made him feel like a rookie again.

"I'm a rookie at this – the playoffs," he said in a postgame interview. "I've never seen the NHL playoffs, so every moment every day is a new day for me. It's a new experience and I'm taking it one day at a time, one moment at a time."

Louis Domingue #70 of the Pittsburgh Penguins comes in during the second overtime period to take over goaltending duties from Casey DeSmith #1 against the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Bruce Bennett / Getty Images
/
Getty Images
Louis Domingue #70 of the Pittsburgh Penguins comes in during the second overtime period to take over goaltending duties from Casey DeSmith #1 against the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

When asked how he's dealing with the spotlight, Domingue said he is trying to not let it affect his game-time mindset.

"I try to shut everything down. I try to play this as it's just another game ... just another day," he said. "At the end of the day we're playing hockey."

In some ways, Domingue has been playing these games for years.

"From the moment I brought my net outside in the street and put my rollerblades on and played outside and have cars go around my net, this is the film I was playing in my head the whole time," he said.

"I'm trying to control my emotions. It's pretty hard to be honest. It's so new and it's a lot. It's a lot, but we're going to take it a day at a time and move on ... to the next game."

Game 5 in New York is what's next for the Penguins and Domingue, though it's not clear who will begin the game in goal. Starter Tristan Jarry has been on the ice recently, as reported by Sports Illustrated, but the starting lineup has not been released for Wednesday's game.

Jarry has been out since mid-April after injuring his foot. Backup goalie Casey DeSmith is out for the rest of the season after undergoing surgery, the Associated Press reported last week.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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