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Jarry ready to go in at moment's notice

by Michelle Crechiolo @PensInsideScoop / Penguins Team Reporter

When Tristan Jarry arrived at PPG Paints Arena on Wednesday night before Game 1 of the First Round against the Columbus Blue Jackets, he put on his gym clothes and was getting ready to work out with the other scratches when he got the news.

Matt Murray had suffered a lower-body injury in warmups. Marc-Andre Fleury was going to start in goal and he would be the backup. 

"It was basically just focus as quick as possible," Jarry said. "I think that's something you have to learn very quickly at this level and in the American League, is you never know what might happen. I think it's just focus as quick as possible and be prepared."

While he hadn't participated in the team's morning skate - instead skating on his own beforehand with goalie development coach Mike Buckley - Jarry had still been going through the same routine he always does prior to a game.

"Every day you're going through your routine and my routine was if I was going down to Wilkes and playing there," he said. "I was ready and prepared if I had to play the next day or that night. I think it's one of those things where you're always preparing for something and there's different situations that you prepare for. It helps out with situations like we had last night."

There was certainly a sense of déjà vu for the 21-year-old netminder, as he had been in a nearly identical situation at this time last year.

With both Fleury and Murray injured for the start of the 2016 postseason, third-string goalie Jeff Zatkoff got the start in Game 1 of the First Round against the New York Rangers and Jarry found himself on the bench as the backup, ready to go in at a moment's notice.

"Last year that was my first call-up, so it was pretty neat to do it again," Jarry said. "You never wish that upon anyone and you never wish for that to happen, but it's something I'm prepared for and something that if it were to happen I think I could do it."

That time, Jarry had no NHL experience and had just finished his first AHL season. This time, he's coming off his first season as the No. 1 goalie in WBS and just made his NHL debut in the Pens' regular-season finale on April 9 against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

"It's definitely different," he said. "I've been called up a couple times now, so it's not as nerve-racking as being called up for my first time and being in front of that many people. You definitely feel a lot more comfortable out there."

Jarry made 22 saves in the 3-2 loss to the Rangers, and head coach Mike Sullivan said afterward he was impressed with the goalie's calm demeanor and composure.

"I think it's one of those things where you're just getting the nerves out and making sure I'm trying to play my game to the best that it is," Jarry said. "It's helped a lot throughout this year playing in Wilkes as many games as I did and I think that's something that really progressed my game."

On Thursday, Sullivan confirmed that Murray will not play in Game 2 on Friday, saying that Fleury will start and Jarry will back up. This time he has the advantage of knowing well ahead of time, but it still doesn't change his mentality.

"You never know what could happen at any point in a game," Jarry said. "It's just something that you have to think of the mindset that you're playing every game and you have to go in and prepare as you would as if you're playing."

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