Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Darcy Kuemper injury: Avalanche goalie ruled out for Game 2, Pavel Francouz gets start instead

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Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper has been ruled out for Game 2 of the Western Conference Final on Thursday night due to an upper-body injury, head coach Jared Bednar announced. The team’s backup netminder, Pavel Francouz, will start in Kuemper’s place..

“We have a lot of confidence in him,” Bednar said regarding Francouz following Thursday’s morning skate. “He’s played really well for us over the last few years. Stepping into the situation in the Nashville series, he did a great job for us. He came in the other night and did a nice job for us. We’re completely confident he can get the job done.”

Bednar didn’t provide further details regarding Kuemper’s injury and it is still unknown how long the Colorado goaltender could be out of the lineup. He left Game 1 early in the second period with the injury and Francouz replaced him in net. The Avalanche were able to come away with a 8-6 win in the series-opening game against the Edmonton Oilers.

During the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Kuemper has a 6-2-0 record to go along with a 2.44 goals-against-average and a .904 save percentage. In Game 1, the Avalanche goalie stopped 13 of the 16 shots he faced before being replaced by Francouz.

This isn’t the first time Kuemper has battled an injury this postseason. He was injured during the Avalanche’s First Round series against the Nashville Predators. The veteran netminder was forced to leave Game 3 of that series after Predators winger Ryan Johansen struck Kuemper in the eye with his stick. Kuemper was unable to play in the final two games vs. Nashville.

Meanwhile, Francouz made 18 saves on 21 shots in his nearly two periods of work against the Oilers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final. During the 2021-22 regular season, the Czech Republic native accumulated a 15-5-1 record in addition to a 2.55 goals-against-average and a .916 save percentage.

In relief of Kuemper against the Predators, Francouz was able to record wins in each of the final two games of that series. In three games this postseason, the 31-year old has a 3-0-0 record, a 3.59 goals-against-average, and a .889 save percentage. Francouz did yield five total goals in the two games against Nashville.

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