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Avalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper gets hit in face by stick in 'freak accident'

SportAvalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper gets hit in face by stick in 'freak accident'


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Colorado Avalanche goalie Darcy Kuemper’s status for Game 4 against the Nashville Predators is up in the air after he was struck in the face by a stick in a scary incident in Game 3.

Kuemper went down in the first period of the Avalanche’s 7-3 win against the Predators on Saturday. Predators center Ryan Johansen’s stick somehow went through Kuemper’s facemask and struck the goalie in the eye.

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Darcy Kuemper of the Colorado Avalanche has his mask knocked off his face after getting hit with a stick during the NHL playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 7, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Darcy Kuemper of the Colorado Avalanche has his mask knocked off his face after getting hit with a stick during the NHL playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 7, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.
(Mickey Bernal/Getty Images)

Johansen was upset with himself after the game.

“Got real sick to my stomach, just from looking back and seeing him skating to the bench and then dropping again,” he told reporters, via the Tennessean. “It’s not a good feeling. I hope everyone knows there’s zero intention of something like that happening. Just a freak accident.

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Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper is helped off the ice after getting injured during Game 3 of the first-round playoff series against the Predators Saturday, May 7, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper is helped off the ice after getting injured during Game 3 of the first-round playoff series against the Predators Saturday, May 7, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.
(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

“Definitely put a smile on my face hearing it could just be a little scratch with some swelling.”

Kuemper has a shot at playing if the swelling in his right eye goes down before Monday night’s Game 4 against Nashville. Colorado could move onto the next round with a win.

“His eye, luckily, is fine, after further evaluation last night,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said Sunday, via NHL.com. “He’s got some swelling, so I guess he’s a possibility for tomorrow if the swelling goes down.”

Darcy Kuemper of the Colorado Avalanche holds his face after getting hit with a stick during the NHL playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 7, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.

Darcy Kuemper of the Colorado Avalanche holds his face after getting hit with a stick during the NHL playoffs at Bridgestone Arena on May 7, 2022, in Nashville, Tennessee.
(Mickey Bernal/Getty Images)

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Kuemper was 2-0 with a 1.63 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage before the injury. Pavel Francouz would be in line to start if Kuemper cannot play.

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