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Avalanche decline to name starting goaltender ahead of Game 1

May 31, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper (35) defends the net against the Edmonton Oilers in the first period in game one of the Western Conference Final of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar declined to name his starting goaltender ahead of Wednesday’s Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final against the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.

Darcy Kuemper, however, was in the starter’s net during the morning skate Wednesday in Denver. Pavel Francouz relieved an injured Kuemper (upper body) to help the Avalanche sweep the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference finals.

“Our guys are comfortable with our goaltending here as well,” Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic said Tuesday. “Both goalies can play. Darcy is 100 percent healthy now. He had a tough time with health for the one round, but he’s ready to go.

“We’re definitely confident in both goalies. They both won six games in the playoffs. Our guys are excited.”

Kuemper, 35, is 6-2 with a 2.65 goals-against average and an .897 save percentage in 10 games in the playoffs.

Francouz, 32, is 6-0 with a 2.86 GAA and .906 save percentage.

Bednar labeled Nazem Kadri (thumb) and Andrew Cogliano (upper body) as “day-to-day” despite missing Wednesday’s morning skate. The coach declined to say if either forward would play in the series opener.

–Field Level Media