May 9, 2013, 2:05 PM EDT
Minnesota’s crease conundrum is solved — for now.
That might seem like a fairly ordinary decision, given the Harding-Kuemper combo has been used repeatedly during this series.
But this was anything but ordinary.
In Game 4, Harding — who assumed starting duties when Niklas Backstrom got hurt during warmup prior to Game 1 — left the game after the first period with what appeared to be a leg injury (‘Hawks captain Jonathan Toews landed awkwardly on Harding’s left leg.)
That forced Kuemper, 23, into his playoff debut.
What’s more, the injury to Harding meant Minnesota was without a backup goalie, forcing Backstrom into emergency relief (he was listed as a healthy scratch, but quickly got dressed and sat on the bench.)
During Thursday’s gameday skate, it seemed unclear who would get the nod for Game 5.
Mike Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune reported both Harding and Backstrom didn’t “look good” in stopping shots, and that Yeo was having mini-meetings all over the ice, often involving goalie coach Bob Mason.
The Wild and ‘Hawks get things underway tonight (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) at the United Center.
- More like it? Avs crush Canucks 21
- Video: Beauties from Perry, Eberle and Duchene 4
- Ghost Time: Flyers recall Gostisbehere from AHL 26
- Trotz calls Healy’s comments on Ovechkin (and Ovechkin’s mom) ‘disrespectful’ 26
- Report: Billionaire wants NHL team in Vegas; new Coyotes owner ‘sees flipping the team as a good investment’ 23
- Chara has PCL tear, out 4-6 weeks 20
- Coburn, MacDonald out four weeks with lower-body injuries 20
- Red-hot Quick sets new Kings’ franchise shutout record 10
- Reports: Chara could miss at least 4-6 weeks with knee injury 13
- Video: Red Wings’ stars stun Penguins with late surge 32
- Video: Two quick third-period goals propel Flyers over rival Penguins (82)
- Updated: Kings’ Voynov arrested for domestic assault, suspended indefinitely (78)
- Babcock: ‘Price definitely initiates contact’ in disallowed Datsyuk goal (59)
- ‘It’s stupid': Tempers flare after Kesler’s late charge on Granlund (54)
- Lucic apologizes for obscene gesture: ‘I’m obviously not proud of what I did there’ (45)