Avalanche Starting Goalie Darcy Kuemper Out for Game 2 vs. Oilers, Replaced by Pavel Francouz

Avalanche Starting Goalie Darcy Kuemper Out for Game 2 vs. Oilers, Replaced by Pavel Francouz article feature image

Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images. Pictured: Darcy Kuemper

ColoradoAvalanche starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper has been ruled out for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Thursday night with an upper-body injury.

Kuemper was hurt during Game 1 and was replaced by Pavel Francouz, who will start Game 2 for the Avs as they look to take a 2-0 series lead.

"Even though Kuemper has been a bit wobbly since a freak injury midway through Round 1, his long-term form is much stronger than Francouz’s," NHL Action Network Editor Michael Leboff said. "Against most teams, the Avs can skate by with mediocre goaltending, but the Oilers, who can generate offense at will thanks to McDavid and Draisaitl, pose a more significant issue. The line should — and did — move toward Edmonton with Kuemper out."

Kuemper had started all but one game for the Avs in the playoffs and was carrying a .897 save percentage and 2.65 goals against average in 10 playoff starts before the injury.

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The poor goaltending — and the poor defense in general — was the story of the first game as the two teams combined for 14 goals.

Francouz played 32 minutes in Tuesday's clash and allowed three goals. That seems poor on the surface, but considering the number of goals scored in the game and the fact that the Oilers were on a comeback push for the third period, it was to be expected. He faced 21 shots in that game.

Francouz has started one other game in the playoffs — Game 4 vs. Nashville — and made 28 saves on 31 shots.

He started 18 games in the regular season and posted a .916 save percentage and 2.55 GAA.

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