As the opening round of the 2022 NHL Playoffs strives forward, the Pittsburgh Penguins have taken a surprising 3-1 series lead over the New York Rangers.
The Penguins have needed contributions from all over the lineup to take such a commanding lead, and are being led by their captain, Sidney Crosby, who has nine points in four games.
The biggest storyline coming from Pittsburgh, however, centers around a third string goalie who is on the verge of etching his name into Penguins lore forever.
Louis Domingue, who spent most of the 2021-22 season playing for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in the American Hockey League, has taken the NHL Postseason by storm.
In Game 1, the journeyman goaltender stole the show as he entered the game for an injured Casey DeSmith in the second overtime and stopped all 17 shots he faced en route to a triple-overtime victory.
A victory like that is enough to leave a mark on fans for a long time, but it’s the story that has unfolded since then that puts Domingue on a similar level to other franchise heroes.
Domingue has an opportunity to turn an intermission meal of spicy pork and broccoli into a story that will be told to generations of Pens fans.
If all goes right, Domingue will find his name amongst some of the most iconic names and moments and playoff runs in franchise history.
Penguins fans will never forget “The Save” by Frank Pieterangelo that helped the franchise win their first ever Stanley Cup.
Or a few years down the line when Ken Wregget put up 53 saves in a four-overtime thriller on the way to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1996.
In 2001, the legend of “Moose” was born as a goalie named Johan Hedberg and his bright blue Manitoba Moose mask out-dueled Dominik Hasek, the Vezina Trophy winner, future Hall of Famer, and one of the greatest goalies of all-time.
Jumping to 2013, veteran goalie Tomas Vokoun stepped in for a struggling Marc-Andre Fleury and back stopped the team all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals.
More recently in 2016, both Jeff Zatkoff as “Mr. Game 1” and Matt Murray cemented their legacy’s as the Pens went on to win the Stanley Cup.
Now we sit at present day, watching Domingue outplay a Vezina finalist (and probable winner) in Igor Shesterkin.
Though Domingue has given up a few too many goals for comfort in the series, his numbers are growing superior of his counterpart in the opposing crease.
Domingue holds a .906 save percentage while Shesterkin is clinging on to a .905; a massive decline since making 79 saves in Game 1 and an extra 39 in Game 2.
Much like Hedberg did 21 years ago, Domingue is getting the upper hand on an opponent who is sure to bring home hardware in the offseason.
If Domingue is able to finish off the series and hold down the fort until Tristan Jarry returns from his broken foot, you can expect to hear Domingue’s name as part of Penguins’ lore for a long time to come.
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