The Colorado Avalanche again had the offense rolling in Saturday's 7-3 win over the Nashville Predators in game three of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
But the Avs hope there was not a cost associated with the victory.
Starting goaltender Darcy Kuemper left the game with about a minute remaining in the first period after taking what appeared to be an inadvertent stick to the face from Predators forward Ryan Johansen. He was battling with Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon in front of Kuemper when Johansen's stick came up and went between the bars of Kuemper's mask and struck him in the face.
Kuember left the game and Pavel Francouz came on in net for Colorado. Francouz stopped 18 of the 20 shots he faced. There was no immediate word on Kuemper's condition, although Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar sounded optimistic after the game.
"You're always worried when you see a guy holding his eye and heading off, for either team," Bednar said. "He got evaluated right away. By the time we went back out, we had information that it wasn't going to be too serious. [It was] serious enough for him not to be able to come back but at least he's able to see. That made us all feel better."
The Avs broke open a 3-3 game in the second period. Gabriel Landeskog scored at 14:02 and then 39 seconds later, Nazem Kadri made it 4-2 Avlanche with a goal at 14:41.
Colorado's Devon Toews and Valeri Nichushkin each had a goal in the third period as the Avs closed the game with four unanswered goals.
Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog had two goals and two assists. Arturri Lehkonen and Nathan MacKinnon also had a goal each.
Colorado had the power play working, scoring four times with the man advantage.
The Avalanche will try to finish off the sweep in game four in Nashville on Monday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. MDT.
Postgame comments from Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog (r), defenseman Devon Toews (l), goalie Pavel Francouz and head coach Jared Bednar.