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Capitals’ Kuemper Practices Sunday, Likely To Start Monday



Boston Bruins left wing Milan Lucic (17) takes a shot on Washington Capitals goaltender Darcy Kuemper (35) during the first period of a preseason NHL hockey game Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Washington Capitals’ newest dad was back between the pipes ahead of Monday’s game.

Darcy Kuemper practiced with the team Sunday, returning to the ice after he was a late scratch from Friday’s regular season opener. Kuemper’s wife, Sydney, went into labor Thursday night with the couple’s first child.

“It’s amazing, It’s the best day of your life,” Kuemper said. “We went for what we thought was a routine checkup and then an hour later we were headed to the hospital. It kind of snuck up on us.”

Kuemper had tipped off backup goalie Charlie Lindgren that missing Friday’s game was a possibility, a move confirmed by the team’s promotion of Hershey goalie Clay Stevenson six hours before puck drop.

“Credit to him too,” Lindgren said postgame. “I mean, it says how good of a teammate he is, he’s got a baby coming — his first baby — and he’s thinking about me.”

Despite surrendering four goals to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Lindgren ended the night with 31 saves.

Kuemper is likely to return to the net for the team’s matchup with the Calgary Flames on Monday, with the Capitals seeking their first win — and goal — of the season.

“To have a full summer of training — it was longer than we wanted it to be, but I used it to use it to my advantage, to our advantage, and it just felt nice to come in feeling explosive, feeling strong, feeling like you’re ready to play a bunch of games at the best of your ability,” Kuemper said.

Jared Serre covers the Washington Capitals for Washington Hockey Now. He is a graduate of West Virginia University.