Backstrom sustained a lower-body injury during warm-ups prior to Game 1 of the Wild's first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks. Josh Harding started and made 37 saves in the Wild's 2-1 loss. The Wild have yet to update Backstrom's injury.
Kuemper went 1-2-0 with a 2.08 goals-against average and .916 save percentage in six games, including three starts, with the Wild this season. The 22-year-old spent most of the season in the AHL, where he went 13-8-0 with a 1.88 GAA and .934 save percentage in 21 games. He was 1-1 with a 1.51 GAA and .957 save percentage in two games for Houston in the AHL playoffs.
It's not just going to happen on its own. We have to have guys commit to the areas we need to improve on. We're going to be better than last year but there is still a long way to go. But I really like the pieces and where we're headed.
— Sabres forward Tyler Ennis on the progress of Buffalo's rebuilding process