PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Penguins will begin their first-round playoff matchup with the New York Rangers without Tristan Jarry, though they haven’t ruled out the All-Star’s return before the end of the series.
Head coach Mike Sullivan characterized Jarry as “day to day” but indicated Jarry would not be available when the best-of-seven series opens in New York on Tuesday. Jarry hasn’t played since being diagnosed with a lower-body injury following a victory over the New York Islanders on April 14.
Casey DeSmith will get the nod when the Penguins head to Madison Square Garden. DeSmith made just one appearance against the Rangers this season and played just 4:19 against New York on March 25 before leaving following a collision with a teammate. DeSmith is 3-2-1 with a 3.45 goals against average and a pedestrian .886 save percentage in seven career appearances against New York.
The 30-year-old DeSmith has played well in the run-up to the playoffs even as the Penguins limped toward the postseason. DeSmith went 8-3-3 with a 2.44 goals against and a .927 save percentage after the All-Star break.
Forward Jason Zucker is likely also out for the beginning of the series with an undisclosed injury sustained in a loss to Edmonton last Tuesday. Injuries have dogged Zucker this season, limiting him to just 41 games.
The Penguins are otherwise healthy, though they face a daunting task in the Rangers. New York won three of four meetings during the regular season, limiting Pittsburgh to just four goals total in the process.
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