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#pounditMonday, May 27, 2024

Avalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper suffers scary injury

Darcy Kuemper gets poked in the eye

The Colorado Avalanche are on the verge of sweeping the Nashville Predators following Saturday’s 7-3 route in Game 3 of the Western Conference first round. But the win didn’t come without a big loss.

With under a minute to go in the first period and the Avalanche leading, goaltender Darcy Kuemper was accidentally hit near his right eye by Nashville alternate captain Ryan Johansen’s stick.

Nashville’s Tanner Jeannot sent a pass into the crease that was deflected by Kuemper’s stick. Johansen was jostling with Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon to get into position to take a shot, and his stick wound up poking right through the cage in Kuemper’s helmet instead.

Play had to be stopped as Kuemper fell to the ice clutching his face. He left the game with a towel covering his face and did not return. Backup goalie Pavel Francouz took over and allowed two goals on 20 shots.

After the game, coach Jared Bednar said that the injury ended up not being too serious. Bednar did not rule out Kuemper playing in a potential series-clinching Game 4 on Monday night.

The 32-year-old Kuemper has had an impressive postseason so far. In three games, he’s given up just four goals on 61 shots. During 57 regular-season games, he recorded five shutouts and had the third-most saves in the NHL (1,616).

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