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Avalanche goaltending again in question after ugly Game 3 loss

Starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper was pulled from Game 3 after allowing five goals, leaving speculation for Game 4.
Credit: AP
Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Pat Maroon (14) scores past Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper (35) during the second period of Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final on Monday, June 20, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

TAMPA, Fla. — Let the speculation begin...again.

After two solid wins to begin the Stanley Cup Finals behind starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper, the script was flipped Monday night.

The Colorado Avalanche were given a dose of their own high-scoring medicine in an ugly 6-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3.

As a result, Avs coach Jared Bednar made the decision to pull Kuemper from the game midway through the second period after he gave up five goals on 22 shots faced (a 77.3 save percentage).

Kuemper was replaced by Pavel Francouz, who has helped carry the load as backup this postseason.

Francouz finished the game by saving nine of the 10 shots he faced, allowing one goal shortly after he was brought in to play savoir.

Bednar was asked in the postgame press conference if he would consider a change in net for Game 4 on Wednesday night, which he did not answer.

"He (Kuemper) didn't have a good night. Neither did our team," Bednar said. "We win as a team, lose as a team. You can group him in with everybody else."

Francouz has a 6-0 record this postseason, while Kuemper's falls to 8-3.

Credit: AP
Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper makes a save on a shot from Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Ondrej Palat during the first period of Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Final on Monday, June 20, 2022, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

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