Kuemper skates in starter’s net at practice, but Avalanche won’t say who gets Game 1 nod

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Kuemper skates in starter’s net at practice, but Avalanche won’t say who gets Game 1 nod

| June 15, 2022, 12:09 PM

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper skated in the starter’s net during practice on Wednesday morning, suggesting he will likely get the nod for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, though head coach Jared Bednar declined to confirm which of his team’s goalies would be between the pipes when the puck drops.

Kuemper picked up what was described as an upper-body injury in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final against the Edmonton Oilers and hasn’t played since. On Tuesday, Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said Kuemper was fully healthy.

Pavel Francouz came into Game 1 against the Oilers in relief, allowing three goals on 21 shots in the win. Francouz started Games 2, 3 and 4 as well, securing victories in all three, including a 24-save shutout in Game 2. In six appearances these playoffs, Francouz has registered a .906 save percentage and a 2.87 goals-against average.

Kuemper, on the other hand, has posted a .897 save percentage and a 2.65 goals-against average in 10 appearances — a dip in performance compared to his .921 save percentage and 2.54 goals-against average in the regular season.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final starts Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, which you can watch live on Sportsnet.

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