The Washington Capitals faced a nerve-wracking incident during their practice session on Wednesday.
Starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper was forced to leave the ice early in intense pain after blocking a shot from TJ Oshie. The 33-year-old goalie had to be assisted back to the Capitals’ locker room.
Darcy Kuemper just hit with a shot and left practice. Had to slide off the ice and was helped back to the locker room.
— Katie Adler (@katieEadler) November 15, 2023
Kuemper appeared to have taken a shot in the groin area and slid off the ice as if he had broken a skate blade. Team trainers had to assist him off the ice, leaving the rest of the players in an eerie silence.
Capitals head coach Spencer Carbery was asked about the concern with his goalie after practice. “I don’t know,” Carbery said. “I’ll have to get the report on that but not ideal. I think it was a shot potentially where it caught him in the back of the pad or somewhere lower leg in a spot without padding.”
Kuemper has been dealing with minor injuries after facing the Florida Panthers last week. The Capitals had to bring up Hunter Shepard from the Hershey Bears and give him a start over the weekend due to Kuemper’s issues.
Shepard was sent back down to Hershey on Tuesday, but he could return to the Capitals before Saturday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Bears have a game Wednesday night against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.
So far this season, Kuemper has played eight games for the Capitals, with a record of 3-3-2 and a 3.07 goals-against average and .892 save percentage. The Capitals have heavily relied on backup Charlie Lindgren in three of their last five games, and Lindgren has performed impressively with increased minutes.
Lindgren now has a 3-1 record this season, with a 1.76 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage. He has stopped 8.7 more goals than expected, ranking in the top five in the NHL.
Headline photo: Alan Dobbins/RMNB
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