Darcy Kuemper stopped all 14 shots he faced after relieving Ilya Bryzgalov midway through the second period of the Minnesota Wild's 4-2 Game 2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. Down 0-2 in the series, it was only a matter of time before Mike Yeo made some changes.
Kyle Brodziak and Stephane Veilleux are out, while Dany Heatley and Justin Fontaine are in. Joining the new-look Wild in Game 3 Monday night will be Kuemper, who earned this start with his relief performance.
Kuemper, who last started March 27 after missing most of April with a concussion, will be making his fourth playoff appearance in the past two seasons.
"It’s not just the saves he’s making, but the way he’s making saves," said Yeo after Monday's morning skate. "He looked really confident in practice."
Kuemper played well for the Wild in late-February, but then Bryzgalov was acquired and he finished the season strong, helping the team clinch a wild card spot.
But now things have gone south for Bryzgalov, who has let in 16 goals in his last four starts. With no answers for Nathan McKinnon or Paul Stastny, Yeo is forced to shake things up in an attempt to climb back into this series down two games.
Seeing as how the Wild played five goaltenders during the regular season, it just wouldn't be normal for them to not make a switch at some point during the postseason.
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