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St. Louis rules out Halak for Game 4

Apr 18, 2012, 5:05 PM EDT

Jaroslav Halak AP

The good news? Jaroslav Halak returned to St. Louis practice Tuesday for the first time since suffering an ankle injury in Game 2.

The bad news? The Blues still can’t use him.

That’s according to head coach Ken Hitchcock, who on Wednesday said Halak is progressing but won’t be made available for Thursday’s Game 4 in San Jose.

Brian Elliott, who made 26 saves in St. Louis’ Game 3 victory, will make his second straight start while AHL Peoria call-up Jake Allen remains the backup.

“Like anybody else, until you’re a player, you’re out,” Hitchcock told the Post-Dispatch. “That’s kind of what we’re thinking. [Halak’s] definitely not going to be available to us on Thursday.”

With Halak out, it’ll be interesting to see how Elliott responds to another start in goal. He was brilliant in relief on Saturday (stopping all 17 shots faced, splitting the shutout) and for 56:58 of Monday’s game, he was equally good (stopping 25 of 26).

The catch? The final 3:02. Elliott allowed two goals on San Jose’s final three shots, nearly blowing a 4-1 lead in the process.

That’s left the Blues goalie feeling antsy heading into Thursday’s affair.

“It makes me want to play that much harder,” he said. “If you have a team where you want them, you have to bury them. You always want to in the regular season, but that’s what you have to do now.

“If we learned a lesson, it will help us in the long run.”

  1. leeo00 - Apr 19, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    I think Elliot will do just fine . i think the last 3 mins or so when they scored the two goal is not his fault ! The team got to comfortable and the sharks took advantage of it . this is a trend you often see in the blues no matter who is in goal. They have to play good hockey in front of him for the full 60 not only 56 min 57 sec ! If they would have played the entire 60 mins i don’t think that they would have scored two goals , maybe one but not two .

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