Blue Jackets goaltender Curtis McElhinney started against the Pittsburgh Penguins last night in Columbus’ 2-1 loss and they might need him to play again on no rest.
That’s because Sergei Bobrovsky is being regarded as a game-time decision as he continues to recover from the flu, according to NHL.com. Columbus has returned goalie Mike McKenna to the minors, so unless they make another move, Bobrovsky will at very least serve as the team’s backup against Carolina tonight.
Along with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, and Washington Capitals, the Blue Jackets have 80 points. Columbus currently controls the first Wild Card spot by virtue of leading in the tiebreaker (total wins minus shootout victories). However, Detroit and Toronto will face each other tonight, so one or both of them will surpass the Blue Jackets if they lose to Carolina.
The Hurricanes are seven points behind Columbus and there’s a good chance they would miss the playoffs even if they won all of their remaining nine games.
Update: The Blue Jackets have confirmed that McElhinney will start.