The already injured-ravaged St. Louis Blues took another hit Monday night when goaltender Brian Elliott suffered a lower-body injury during the first period and had to leave the San Jose Sharks game.
Elliott, who had been one of the hottest goalies in the league at the time of his injury, was placed on long-term injured reserve Tuesday and the Blues said he will be reevaluated in four weeks. Jake Allen, who returned this week after being out since Jan. 8 with a lower-body injury, will be the Blues’ top goalie and prospect Pheonix Copley was recalled from the minor-league Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.
The injury to Elliott occurred when he tried to make a save during a scramble in front of the net with 7:01 remaining in the first period.
The Blues (35-18-9) have six players missing 10 or more games this season because of injuries. Star defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is currently out with a knee injury and has missed seven games while forward Alexander Steen, the team’s second-leading scorer, was recently lost for at least four weeks with an upper-body injury.
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Other long-term injury absences this season have been Allen, Jaden Schwartz, Kevin Shattenkirk, Patrik Berglund, Paul Stastny and Steve Ott.
Despite that long injury list including many of the team’s top players, the Blues’ 79 points still ranks fourth overall in the NHL.
With Allen just returning from an injury himself, the Blues could be looking for some veteran goaltending help. However, there are still 20 regular-season games remaining and there’s at least a chance Elliott could return.
Blues goaltending prospect Jordan Binnington, 22. has played in 13 minutes of one NHL game this season. Copley, 24, has yet to make his NHL debut.
The 30-year-old Elliott had been one of the NHL’s hottest goaltenders during a career-high streak of 18 consecutive starts. The bulk of those came while Allen was still injured.
Elliott’s .929 save percentage ranks third in the NHL 2.14 goals-against average ranks fifth. He is 17-7-6 and his streak of 18 consecutive starts was the longest in the league this season.
Copley, who came to the Blues from Washington along with Troy Brouwer in the July, 2015 deal for T.J. Oshie, is 12-12-2 for AHL Chicago with a 2.73 goals-against average, three shutouts and .907 save percentage.