(Hockey StL) -- It was the last thing the Blues’ wanted to see, but on Thursday night they witnessed a play that could have left them left them one goalie short for the second consecutive year.
Los Angeles Kings’ forward Dustin Brown came streaking down the left side of the ice, with a defender skating with him, and collided with Blues goaltender Brian Elliott. At first, it didn’t appear as though Elliott would get up unscathed. However, he did so, and remained in the game.
It was a play that happens often in the National Hockey League, but it looked like Elliott’s leg was stretched awkwardly when Brown hit him, which left him in obvious discomfort. However, Elliott never left the ice. A Blues’ trainer went onto the ice to check on his status, but Elliott felt well enough to play the remainder of the game.
Elliott would go on to stop 28 of 29 Kings’ shots, and win his fifth consecutive game. The Blues took a 2-0 series lead thanks in large part to Elliott’s play.
After the game, Elliott was not made available to the media, but Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock says all is well.
“He’s fine. No problem,” was Hitchcock’s response to a question asking about Elliott’s condition.
Ironically enough, the Blues witnessed a similar occurrence in last year’s playoff series against the San Jose Sharks, when in Game Two, Blues defenseman Barret Jackman collided with goaltender Jaroslav Halak in the second period. However, Halak was forced out of that particular game, and did not return for any of the following playoff games.
Elliott currently has a .966 save percentage in the postseason, stopping 56 of 58 Kings’ shots. Elliott was 14-8-1 in the regular season. Halak has been backing up Elliott. The Blues’ next game is Saturday in Los Angeles. It remains to be seen whether or not the Blues intend to give Elliott a day off, but judging by his performance on Thursday, Elliott appears to have avoided what could have been a serious injury.