Goaltender Andrew Hammond has been at the centre of a miracle before. He will need to do it again. The Colorado Avalanche announced on Thursday that goaltender Jonathan Bernier suffered a lower-body injury in Game 4 against the Nashville Predators. The injury will keep him from dressing in Game 5 of the first round series. The Predators won Game 4 by a score of 3-to-2, to take a 3-games-to-1 lead in the series. With starting goalie Semyon Varlamov already lost for the season, the Avalanche will turn to their third-string goalie in an elimination game.
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) April 19, 2018
Colorado Avalanche to Start Goalie Andrew Hammond in Game 5
In 2014-15, Hammond was the Ottawa Senators fourth-string goalie. Due to injuries, he came in with the Senators well back in the playoff chase. Hammond went on a 20-1-2 run for the Senators, putting up a .941 save percentage and propelling the team into the playoffs.
However, things would go downhill from there. Hammond has never been able to replicate anything close to that level of play, and he was considered a throw-in to the Matt Duchene trade earlier this season. Ironically the Predators were the third team involved in that three-way deal.
Hammond played the third period of Game 4, and stopped all eight shots that he faced.
Hammond only started one game for the Avalanche this season. He made 31 of 33 saves in a loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on March 28th. He last started a playoff game in 2015 for the Senators. He was 0-2 with a .913 save percentage in the first two games of a series the Senators would lose to the Montreal Canadiens.
“He’s been working hard, doing the right things on and off the ice. He’ll be excited for the opportunity,” Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said of Hammond after practice on Thursday.
Game 5 goes Friday night at 9:30 pm EDT, back at the Bridgestone Arena in Downtown Nashville.