ST. PAUL, Minn. Darcy Kuemper was just trying to prepare to back up Minnesota Wild starting goaltender Niklas Backstrom when he watched Backstrom skate off the ice near the end of warm-ups.
Soon after, Kuemper, the 22-year-old with only one NHL game under his belt, heard he was starting minutes before taking the ice against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. He handled the assignment nearly as unflappably as he does traffic in front of the crease.
"Everything was happening so quick there I didn't even have time to get nervous," Kuemper said after the game. "They got one quick but I just tried to not let it get to me and stick in there. Obviously we have a lot of talent in here, so one goal wasn't a big deal. I had a feeling we'd get it back and we potted three tonight. If you do that, you'll win a lot of times."
Kuemper, who received the call-up from the American Hockey League last week when backup goaltender Josh Harding started feeling "off" after a change in his medication for ...