Sports | May 4, 2022 12:42 pm

Spicy Pork and Broccoli Helped Fuel Triple-OT NHL Playoff Win for Penguins

Backup goalie Louis Domingue said he chowed down between periods before being forced into action and making 17 saves against the Rangers

Louis Domingue of the Penguins comes in during the second overtime period to take over goaltending duties from Casey DeSmith
Louis Domingue of the Penguins comes in during the second overtime to take over goaltending duties from Casey DeSmith.
Bruce Bennett/Getty

Although his tradition of eating fowl before protecting the foul line at third base for the Red Sox in the 1980s began as a marketing ploy to promote his cookbook, Hall-of-Famer Wade Boggs made ingesting a pregame chicken meal a permanent part of his routine after eating chicken every day in ’83 on his way to winning the batting title. “I ate the chicken for the book,” the Chicken Man told MLB.com. “And then once the chicken just kept going, I just continued the superstition with the chicken.”

Backup goaltender Louis Domingue may want to continue his improvised tradition of eating spicy pork and broccoli between periods after that meal helped fuel him during an improbable win by the Pittsburgh Penguins over the New York Rangers in triple overtime in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series on Tuesday night.

Forced into action after starting goalie Casey DeSmith skated to the bench midway through the second overtime period due to a lower-body injury, Domingue stepped in and made 17 saves for the Penguins before teammate Evgeni Malkin scored on a deflection 5:58 into the third overtime to give the Penguins a 4-3 victory and a 1-0 lead in their series.

As Domingue admitted afterward, he wasn’t really expecting to play and had chowed down between the first and second overtime periods.

“I actually had quite the meal between the first and the second overtime, I didn’t expect [to] go in,” Domingue told reporters after the game. “Spicy pork and broccoli. It was not great. I needed something in my belly. Maybe it sustained my energy.”

Domingue, who had just 18 minutes of NHL playoff experience with Tampa Bay in 2018 prior to last night and had played in only four NHL games over the last three seasons, wasn’t even sitting on the Pittsburgh bench when his number was called because the Penguins bench at Madison Square Garden had been shortened to allow for more fan seating along the glass.

“I wasn’t sure why they just blew the whistle,” Domingue said. “It happened that I know both of the referees that were there, Johnny Murray and Frederick L’Ecuyer, both French guys. I honestly thought that they were joking with me when they were saying that I had to go in. After that, you just go out and play. It was crazy, but I guess that’s my life. It’s hockey.”

DeSmith, who is day-to-day and could be back for Game 2, had 48 saves before leaving. Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin finished with 79 saves in the loss, second to the NHL record of 85 saves by Columbus’ Joonas Korpisalo in the 2020 playoffs. Game 2 is Thursday night in NYC.