In what can be seen as a last-minute audible from Mike Sullivan, Casey DeSmith is starting in net for the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Washington Capitals.
The move to start DeSmith was not expected, but both Penguins goalies are in need of an important, momentum building win.
DeSmith hasn’t collected a win yet this season while starter Tristan Jarry has dropped four straight.
Despite his record, Sullivan believes that DeSmith has been a competitor for the Penguins who need to improve as a whole.
“I think he’s competing hard out there,” Sullivan said. “I think we all need to be better as a group. I think he’s competing hard and that’s an important aspect of capturing the very best game.”
The Penguins are riding a seven-game losing streak and are hoping a win against their rivals can be just what they needed to right their course.
With three blown leads in-a-row, as well, the Penguins will hope to get the important and timely saves they need from their goalie.
“He’s made some timely saves for us in some of the games that he’s played,” Sullivan said. “We’ve got to play a more complete game.”
In four games played this season, DeSmith has a 0-3-1 record while giving up 13 total goals.
With a save percentage of .904 and goals against average of 3.25, DeSmith’s numbers are just a touch better than Jarry’s.
In twice as many games played, Jarry holds a .903 save percentage and 3.38 goals against average.
Regardless of who is in net, Sullivan is looking for his whole team to improve and kick their losing skid before things get out of hand.
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