Pens goalie Louis Domingue making a name for himself

By: Neil Becker

The biggest story emerging thus far in the NHL playoffs has been Pittsburgh Penguins third string goalie Louis Domingue. 

This journeyman 30 year-old who was originally drafted 138th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Phoenix Coyotes spent this past year in the AHL with the Pens farm team the Wilkes-Barrie/Scranton Penguins. In 22 games with them this year he posted a 10-9-4 record with a 2.41 GAA.

Domingue did get a small taste in the NHL this year where he played two games with the Pittsburgh Penguins where he went 1-1 with a 2.02 GAA and a 9.52 GAA.

Late in the season, Domingue was called up to serve as back-up when starting Penguins goalie Tristian Jarry, who was having a career season got injured.

Heading into first round best of seven playoff action against the New York Rangers, the plan was for Domingue to serve as back-up to second stringer Casey DeSmith but that's not how things turned out.

During the playoff series curtain-raiser at Madison Square Gardens, Penguins fans got some crushing news when De Smith injured himself during overtime. As a result Domingue, who wasn't warmed-up had to step into the Penguins net where he was rock solid.

This experienced goaltender who has 142 NHL games  under his belt stole the playoff spotlight by stopping all 17 overtime shots he faced until Evgeni Malkin in the third overtime period scored the winner at 5:58 of a 4-3 Game 1 win. 

Back at Madison Square Gardens two nights later Domingue had a 35 save performance but it wasn't quite enough as the Penguins dropped a 5-2 decision which evened their best of seven series at one game apiece with the Rangers.

Over the next two games in Pittsburgh Domingue remained rock solid as he made 32 saves in a 7-4 Game 3 win followed two days later on May 9th, by a 24 save performance in a 7-2 win which put the Rangers on the brink of elimination.

It was quite the scene for Domingue who had the PPG Paints Arena faithful chanting "Lou" every time he made a save.

The Penguins on May 11th  had an opportunity to eliminate the Rangers but fell short when back at an electric Madison Square Gardens Domingue had 29 saves in a 5-3 Game 6 loss.

The magical playoff story of Domingue is still ongoing and being followed quite closely by not only Penguins fans but hockey fans from coast-to-coast who love the feel good story of an underdog doing well and exceeding expectations.

On May 13, back in Pittsburgh he will try once more to write that first round playoffs ending by helping the Pens advance to the second round.