It might be midnight for Louis Domingue‘s Cinderella story with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
After improbably helping the Penguins take a 3-1 series lead in the absence of Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith, Domingue badly misplayed an innocent looking shot from the blue line that he could not handle, lost track of, and allowed to gently roll across the goal line to give the Rangers the lead with less than two minutes to play in Game 6 on Friday night.
New York added an empty net goal to make it a 5-3 win.
Here is a look at the play.
The goal officially belongs to Mika Zibanejad to complete the hat trick.
It was by far the weirdest goal of the three.
For the second straight game the Penguins jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a chance to close out the series, and both times they let it slip away and lose to send the series to a winner take all Game 7 on Sunday.
There are no shortage of players and situations to point at for the Penguins’ inability to close it out.
The power play has been an embarrassment, wasting two 5-on-3 advantages in as many games where they were never even a threat to score.
On Friday, Evan Rodrigues took an appallingly dumb retaliation penalty to put the Penguins shorthanded with a 2-0 lead early in the second period. It took New York five seconds to score on the power play and swing the game in their favor.
Injuries have also been an issue as they played without Sidney Crosby, Rickard Rakell, and Brian Dumoulin. But they still had enough to get the leads. They just simply could not do anything to protect them.
Which brings us to Louis Domingue.
Domingue took over in double overtime of Game 1 when DeSmith entered with a lower-body injury. He stopped all 17 shots he faced to help the Penguins win. Since then, though, he has allowed at least four goals in five of his six starts and let in two awful goals on Friday.
Igor Shesterkin has not been himself in this series at the other end of the ice for the Rangers, but goaltending is definitely impacting this series for the Penguins.
The question for them now is can they score at least three or four goals on Shesterkin one more time, and will Jarry be able to play on Sunday? If not, they need a much better performance from Domingue.
NEW YORK RANGERS v. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (Series tied 3-3)
Game 1: Penguins 4, Rangers 3 (3OT)
Game 2: Rangers 5, Penguins 2
Game 3: Penguins 7, Rangers 4
Game 4: Penguins 7, Rangers 2
Game 5: Rangers 5, Penguins 3
Game 6: Rangers 5, Penguins 3
Game 7: May 15, TBD – Penguins at Rangers (TBD)
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Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.
Rangers force Game 7 on Domingue’s late blunder originally appeared on NBCSports.com