St. Louis Blues star goaltender Jaroslav Halak injured his ankle during Game 2 of his team's first-round series against the San Jose Sharks and was unable play in Game 3 on Monday night. According to NBC Sports, Halak won't be available to start in Game 4 either.
UPDATE: Monday, April 23, 2:20 p.m. ET by Donald Wood
After knocking off the pesky San Jose Sharks, the St. Louis Blues are heading into their second-round series with the Los Angeles Kings without starting goalie Jaroslav Halak for at least the first two games. Brian Elliot will continue to start in his absence.
The Associated Press is reporting via Yahoo!Sports about the goalie’s status for the first two games of the team’s second round series:
St. Louis Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak will not play in the first two games of the upcoming second-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings. Blues coach Ken Hitchcock disclosed his decision Monday.
The Blues are in a great position, as their backup Elliot is arguably as talented this season as their starter. Since entering Game 2 of the series after Halak was forced to leave because of the ankle injury, Elliot has amassed an amazing .940 save percentage and minuscule 1.56 goals against average.
UPDATE: Monday, April 23 at 11:16 a.m. ET
Jaroslav Halak is attempting to get back on the ice and tested his ankle yesterday by skating around. Still, his return remains uncertain at this point, according to STL Today's Dan O'Niell.
Luckily for the Blues, they have a very capable backup in Brian Elliott, who was one of the NHL's best goaltenders this season.
Elliott won Game 3 on the road for the Blues and will start Thursday night in Game 4. Jake Allen will be the backup for the second straight game.
When asked about Halak's injury, Elliot told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "I don't know how long (Halak is) going to be out. He's worried about getting himself healed and back on the ice and the rest of the guys are worried about the next game."
For Elliott to perform well in Game 4, he cannot afford to play like he did at the end of Game 3, when he allowed the Sharks to score two late goals and nearly complete a remarkable comeback.
The Blues won the game 4-3, but the last few minutes were much more nerve-racking than they should have been.
Who gives St. Louis the best chance to win?
With a chance to take a commanding 3-1 series lead and head home to St. Louis with an opportunity to eliminate the Sharks, Elliott will have to carry the Blues on Thursday night in Halak's absence.
Check back to this article daily for the latest updates on Halak's injury status throughout the playoffs.
Nicholas Goss is a Boston Bruins Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and has covered the team firsthand throughout the season. He was also the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston.