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Casey DeSmith out for season with core muscle surgery

The Pens won’t have the services of their backup goalie again this season

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

This time of year if an NHL coach gives a lot of specifics on an injury and timeline, it’s usually very bad news. Such was the case for the Penguins and backup goalie Casey DeSmith on Friday. DeSmith had to pull himself out of Tuesday night’s Game 1 in double overtime, which proved to be an indication that something was not right. Coach Mike Sullivan announced that DeSmith needed and received a surgical repair of his core and will be out for the remainder of this season.

This news is a big blow for the Penguins and for DeSmith personally. The team ends up losing their backup goalie, at a time where the starter in Tristan Jarry is already out injured. For DeSmith, this series was the chance an undrafted goalie waits a lifetime — if it ever comes at all — for an opportunity to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Unfortunately, he didn’t make it through the first game.

This sounds very similar to 12 months ago, when DeSmith missed the playoffs and soon after the season had a similar sounding surgery and was ready for the start of training camp. It is unknown if this current issue is related or the exact same aggravation of last year’s trouble.

DeSmith is set to be an unresticted free agent this summer. He played some of his best hockey after Tristan Jarry got hurt in April: going 3-1-0 and posting a .942 save% and 2.29 GAA in the regular season.

Jarry has still yet to get on the ice, but reportedly is out of his walking boot and is officially “day-to-day” from his officially undisclosed injury, believed to be a broken foot.

That leaves the organization’s third string goalie, Louis Domingue, as the team’s top option for Game 3 tomorrow night against the Rangers, and possibly beyond.