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Coyotes recall Adin Hill following injury to Darcy Kuemper

Goaltender Adin Hill #31 of the Arizona Coyotes in action during the NHL game against the Washington Capitals at Gila River Arena on December 6, 2018 in Glendale, Arizona. The Capitals defeated the Coyotes 4-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

After a Tuesday night game in which starting goalie Darcy Kuemper sustained an injury, the Coyotes recalled goaltender Adin Hill from the Tucson Roadrunners on Wednesday.

As Los Angeles Kings forward Trevor Lewis followed through on a backhand shot (which went in for a goal), his stick blade got through Kuemper’s mask and caught him in the face on Tuesday night. Kuemper went down immediately and was looked at by a trainer. He left the game and did not return.

Coyotes general manager John Chayka told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Wednesday that Kuemper was “OK,” and that the injury was “nothing too serious, by the sounds of it.” Kuemper had an appointment scheduled Wednesday to have his injury examined further.

The Coyotes announced that they were awaiting further test results on Kuemper’s eye and they would know more on Thursday in Las Vegas, where the team plays its next game.

“Probably know more tomorrow,” head coach Rick Tocchet said Wednesday. “But I talked [to him] today. Smile on his face. He put some drops in there and stuff, so we’ll see how it reacts.”

Kuemper’s backup is Calvin Pickard, who has appeared in just five games for Arizona this year, including Tuesday. He has only started three times and owns a .896 save percentage for the Coyotes this season. Pickard has sat on the bench as Kuemper made 21 consecutive starts through Tuesday.

Now, Hill is in the picture as well.

“I love Cal. A tough situation, and he’s handled it probably as professionally as any guy I’ve known in 30 years,” Tocchet said. “If he plays, we root for him. You have 21 guys going to work hard for this guy. He deserves it. Big team guy, and if he plays, he plays. He was fine in there [last night]. He looked relaxed, to me.”

Still, Kuemper hasn’t been ruled out for Thursday and may travel to Vegas.

“He’s got a few more things we’ve got to go check out before we make that decision,” Tocchet said. “Plus, Vegas is a short flight anyways.”

Hill has played 13 games for the Coyotes this season (11 starts) following other injuries to both Kuemper and Antti Raanta. He owns a .901 save percentage and 2.73 goals against average for the year.

The Coyotes only have two games remaining: A Thursday game in Vegas against the Golden Knights and a home game on Saturday versus the Winnipeg Jets. The Coyotes must win both games and the Colorado Avalanche most lose both of their remaining games in regulation in order for the Coyotes to advance to the playoffs.

If Arizona were to make the playoffs and Kuemper can’t go, there’s a possibility that they could have Raanta back to bolster the goaltending position at some point. He has been practicing with the Coyotes as he returns from a lower-body injury.

 

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