Penguins turn to Casey DeSmith in goal against Sharks
With the Pittsburgh Penguins playing amid a stretch of five games in eight days, coach Mike Sullivan figured it was the right time to get backup Casey DeSmith another start.
DeSmith will start in goal Thursday night when the Penguins play the San Jose Sharks, the team with the second-most points in the Western Conference.
DeSmith’s most recent start came on Sunday in a 6-5 over the New York Rangers. Matt Murray was in net Tuesday night in the Penguins’ 4-3 win at New Jersey. DeSmith’s previous start was Feb. 9 at Tampa Bay.
“From a logistic standpoint, we’re playing a lot of hockey this week, and we needed two guys,” Sullivan said after morning skate. “We are trying to manage those two guys so they can be at their best, and they both give us a chance to win.
“The other aspect is Casey has been very good in the starts he’s had recently.”
DeSmith will carry a 14-10-5 record in 33 starts and a 2.82 goals-against average into the game. Murray is 18-10-1 with a 2.94 GAA in 30 starts. DeSmith has a slightly better save percentage – .915 to .913.
With DeSmith starting against San Jose, Murray could be in line to start Saturday in Philadelphia in the Stadium Series game at Lincoln Financial Field.
Sullivan made no changes to his line pairings at morning skate, which means forwards Garrett Wilson and Teddy Blueger and defenseman Juuso Riikola could be scratched against San Jose.
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .