Apr 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Minnesota Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (30) defends his net against the Colorado Avalanche in the second period during game two of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Ilya Bryzgalov to start for Wild vs. Blackhawks, Darcy Kuemper did not travel to Chicago

The Minnesota Wild upset the No. 1 seeded Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 2014 NHL Playoffs on Wednesday evening, but they didn’t escape unscathed as goalie Darcy Kuemper was injured and it unlikely to play in the first two games of the series at least vs. the Chicago Blackhawks.

Kuemper didn’t even make the trip to Chicago, according to Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune where Games 1 and 2 will be played on Friday night and on Sunday, so Ilya Bryzgalov will be between the pipes for the Wild as they look to keep their magical postseason run against the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

In 12 regular-season games, Bryzgalov posted a 7-1-3 record with the Wild, a .911 save percentage and 2.12 goals-against average. He was the starter to begin the series vs. the Avalanche but was benched in favor of Kuemper after allowing eight goals in the first five periods over Games 1 and 2.

If Bryzgalov struggles against the high-powered offense of the Blackhawks, it won’t be Josh Harding to come on in relief as he is an “extreme longshot” to play in the series.

As Kuemper remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury, the fate of the Wild is on their fourth string goalie against the defending champions who had the second highest scoring average in the NHL this season.


Tags: Chicago Blackhawks Ilya Bryzgalov Minnesota Wild NHL Playoffs 2014

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