Coach Jared Bednar says the Colorado Avalanche have full confidence in netminder Pavel Francouz, who has been thrust into Western Conference Final action after number-one Darcy Kuemper was injured in Game 1 against the Edmonton Oilers.
Bednar's faith was well proven by Francouz who made 24 saves to shut-out the Oilers for a 4-0 win in Game 2 on Thursday to give Colorado a 2-0 series lead.
What: Colorado Avalanche v Edmonton Oilers, Western Conference Finals Game 3
Where: Rogers Place, Edmonton
When: 01:00am, Sunday 5th June, 2022
How to watch: TNT or bet365 Live Stream
Odds: COL Avalanche 4/5, EDM Oilers 21/20
The Avalanche are 1/9 win the best-of-seven series and 20/31 to be crowned Stanley Cup Champions and, with Game 3 in Edmonton on Saturday, the timeline for Kuemper's return remains closely guarded by Bednar.
Bednar said to the media: "We have a lot of confidence in 'Frankie'. I mean he's played really well for us over the last few years.
"He was calm, cool and collected the whole night. I felt like he was really square to the shooter, not overactive, just kind of sitting in the right spot all night and made most of the saves look easy."
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Francouz also started Game 4 of the first round against the Nashville Predators when Kuemper was out with an eye injury. Colorado won that 5-3 to complete a sweep, while they beat St. Louis Blues in six games to progress from round two.
The 32-year-old goalie has a .917 save-percentage and 2.48 goals-against-average (GAA) in 4 play-off appearances this season (two starts). Kuemper has a .897 save-percentage and 2.65 GAA in 10 post-season starts.
Francouz played 21 games in the regular season (18 starts), going 15-5-1 with a .916 save-percentage and 2.55 GAA, helping Colorado win the Central Division (56-19-7).
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