Dustin Byfuglien. (Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images)
Dustin Byfuglien fooled Louis Domingue by faking a dump in before hammering the puck on net. Domingue scrambled back to his net, but Byfuglien’s shot squeaked in for an embarrassing goal against for the rookie netminder.
Domingue learned the hard way, too. In the second period of Tuesday’s game, Byfuglien skated the puck to safety out of the Winnipeg zone and glided into the neutral zone. With linemates ready to chase a dump in, Byfuglien wound up, put his head down and appeared to be set to dump the puck around the boards. Instead, he pivoted his body ever so slightly and hammered the puck on goal.
Domingue, who was expecting the dump in, began to leave his net when Byfuglien shot the puck, and he couldn’t get back quite in time to stop the slapshot from center ice:
The overhead view for Domingue shows just how close the 23-year-old came to stopping that puck. If it wasn’t for him having to reach back so far to his right, he may have been able to seal off the ice and kick the puck out. Instead, Byfuglien’s blast found a sliver of daylight and squeaked across the goal line. It was Byfuglien’s 14th goal of the season and it would end up standing as the game-winner as Winnipeg rolled to a 5-2 victory.
To his credit, Domingue wasn’t too shaken by Byfuglien’s goal, but he allowed two more — one to Nikolaj Ehlers, his third of the night, and a second to Byfuglien — and the frustration was evident from the Coyotes netminder once the Jets had put up goal No. 5. He was pulled by coach Dave Tippett to start the third period with Anders Lindback taking over goaltending duties.
The goal from center wasn’t his shining moment, but Domingue has been great for the Coyotes since getting the call up to the NHL with Arizona’s starter, Mike Smith, on the shelf for a considerable amount of time. In 17 games since Dec. 17, Domingue has a 9-5-3 record, 2.31 goals-against average and .924 save percentage. He has also managed two shutouts.
Set to become a restricted free agent at season’s end, Domingue has likely earned himself a raise on the $605,000 he’s currently making and a fresh deal with the Coyotes once the season concludes.