ST. PAUL, Minn. - If you need any help navigating I-35 between the Twin Cities and Des Moines, Wild goalies Darcy Kuemper and Johan Gustafsson can help you out.
Because of injuries, each has been sent down and called back up from the Iowa Wild five times this year.
And now the injury bug is biting again.
Josh Harding is still recovering from an illness. He has been practicing, but wasn't feeling well on Monday. Niklas Backstrom also missed practice with a lower body injury.
The injuries have given Kuemper a chance to shine in recent weeks and he has done just that.
"We're very fortunate to have a guy come in and play at the level that's he's played at," said Wild coach Mike Yeo.
Kuemper has started five games since being called up in early 2014. In those games, he is 4-1 with a shutout and a thrilling shootout victory on the road in Los Angeles.
"Opportunities multiply as they are seized and he is living by that right now," said Yeo. "We're giving him more opportunity because he's taking advantage of those opportunities."
In a pair of starts earlier in the season, Kuemper gave up three goals in each game before getting pulled.
"I went down to Iowa and worked on my game and got it to where I wanted it to be," said Kuemper. "I'm at a confident place right now, and the guys are playing great in front of me. It's been an easy ride."
Kuemper will be in net on Tuesday night when the Wild play the Stars in Dallas.