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."
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).