CRANBERRY, Pa. — Tristan Jarry said he hasn’t lost any confidence and is focused on helping the Pittsburgh Penguins extend their Stanley Cup First Round series against the New York Islanders in Game 6 at Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday (6:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS, MSG+, ATTSN-PT).
The Penguins lost 3-2 in double overtime in Game 5 on Monday when Jarry’s attempted pass up the ice was intercepted in the slot by Islanders forward Josh Bailey, who chipped the game-winner over Jarry’s glove at 51 seconds.
“My mindset’s been the same all year,” Jarry said Tuesday. “Just get better every day. Just practicing here, it’s another day to practice, another day to get better.”
Bailey’s goal gave the Islanders the lead in the best-of-7 series, which means Jarry and the Penguins enter Game 6 will their season on the line. Game 7, if necessary, would be at Pittsburgh on Friday.
Teams that hold a 3-2 lead are 324-87 (.788) winning a best-of-7 series, including 8-0 last season.
“I think tomorrow’s going to be a good game,” Jarry said. “It’s going to be challenging. I think it’s going to be two good teams going at it. We just have to play our game and I think our game will prevail. We have a good team and we have a lot of good players.”
Jarry has shown an ability to bounce back this season. After he and the Penguins nearly blew a 6-0 lead in the third period in a 7-6 win against the New Jersey Devils on April 20, Jarry made 30 saves for a 5-1 win against New Jersey two days later.
In Game 1 of this series, he gave up four goals on his glove side in a 4-3 overtime loss. He seemed to have a clear look on the first three.
Jarry responded in Game 2 when he outdueled Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov and made 37 saves in a 2-1 win.
“We have total confidence in Tristan,” Pittsburgh defenseman Mike Matheson said. “I think he’s one of the best goalies in the League. He proves that night in and night out, so I don’t think anybody has any doubt in his ability. … Everybody knows that every single one of us makes a bunch of mistakes every single game. That’s the nature of the game.
“You hear people talking about, ‘Oh, it’s a game of mistakes.’ Well, it is, 100 percent.”
In his first season as the Penguins’ No. 1 goalie after Matt Murray was traded to the Ottawa Senators on Oct. 7, Jarry was 25-9-3 with a 2.75 goals-against average and .909 save percentage. He is 2-4-0 with a 2.57 GAA and .908 save percentage in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said Jarry’s mentality is the biggest reason he continues to have the staff’s trust.
“It always starts with a person’s character,” Sullivan said. “I’ve seen players develop it over time. Experience becomes a great teacher for all of us. But certainly, I think to a certain extent, some of it is instinct. It’s part of a person’s nature, regardless of what the position is. That’s what’s required to play pro sports. That’s what’s required to have success at such an elite level.
“It’s hard to win in pro sports. It’s hard to win, and it’s going to challenge your every being, whether it’s mentally, whether it’s physically, emotionally. So, we’re all going through that process each and every day. But I believe in Tristan. We believe in Tristan.”
Jarry said he believes moving on to Game 6 is the only approach.
“I’m a pretty easygoing person,” he said. “Just going about my business and doing what I need to do to be better the next day.”