Darcy Kuemper to start Game 3 for Wild over Ilya Bryzgalov

Ilya Bryzgalov is out, Darcy Kuemper in for the Wild. (Getty Images)
Ilya Bryzgalov is out, Darcy Kuemper in for the Wild. (Getty Images)

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The Minnesota Wild are making some changes after losing the first two games of their series to the Colorado Avalanche, none bigger than swapping goaltenders.

Ilya Bryzgalov was pulled in Game 2 and then took a tough loss in Game 1, all of which has combined to lead Wild coach Mike Yeo to put Bryz back on the bench in favor of young Darcy Kuemper for Game 3 Monday night in Minnesota.

Because of injuries and other issues all season, the Wild haven't really had a true No. 1 so Bryz being swapped out for Kuemper isn't the biggest surprise in the world. The Wild landed Bryzgalov in a trade at the deadline for insurance and he played really well down the stretch to earn the playoff start.

For much of this season after Josh Harding's battle with MS kept him out of the lineup, Kuemper was the Wild's starter. He posted a 12-8-4 record in 26 games with a .915 save percentage. Bryzgalov had a save percentage of .911 in 12 games with the Wild but in his two playoff starts he surrendered eight goals on 45 shots, a save percentage in two games of just .822.

It's not as though the problem was all on Bryzgalov int he first two games, the Wild couldn't handle Nathan MacKinnon in particular as the Avs generated some great scoring chances. Perhaps that's why Yeo is also going to scratch Kyle Brodziak in favor of Justin Fontaine. Also, Dany Heatley is back in the lineup with Stephane Veilleux sitting (via Chad Graff).

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