Jake Allen didn’t have the kind of start one would expect with his team on the brink of elimination.
Allen gave up a shorthanded marker to Zach Parise at 7:14 of the first period from a horrible angle.
“The young guy is learning, we got to stick with him,” Ken Hitchcock told Brian Engblom during a stoppage in play.
It didn’t take long for Hitchcock to change his mind.
At 11:19 of the second, Justin Fontaine beat Allen five-hole on a shot he should’ve had.
Hitchcock had seen in enough replacing Allen with Brian Elliott.
Elliott has not played in the series with his last appearance coming on April 11.
Allen allowed two goals on 13 shots.
Elliott’s last playoff action came during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 when the Blues lost in six games of the first round to the L.A. Kings.
The St. Louis Blues did an excellent job of battling back from a 5-2 third period deficit to earn a single point in a 6-5 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night.
However, there was some confusion over the Blues’ goaltending situation.
After allowing four goals on 21 shots, Jake Allen was pulled in favor of Brian Elliott. Elliott backstopped the Blues to a 2-1 win on Saturday and was supposed to have the night off.
Elliott allowed one goal on six shots before leaving the game early in the third period.
Allen returned and finished the game.
Elliott appeared agitated when leaving leading some to speculate the goaltender had pulled himself from the game.
Post-game Ken Hitchcock cleared the air.
The Blues’ coach said he pulled Elliott from the game.
“I was thinking, ‘All I’ve gotta do is get him hurt,'” said Hitchcock per Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Hitchcock was then asked if Elliott pulled himself.
“No, that was me,” Hitchcock said. “He was mad he was coming out. I just told him to relax.”
Allen didn’t seem thrilled about going back into the game.
With the point in the loss the Blues move four points back of the Central Division-leading Nashville Predators.
Goaltender Brian Elliott has been medically cleared to play and could be in the Blues lineup as early as Tuesday when St. Louis visits Nashville.
According to NHL.com’s Lou Korac, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock said when Elliott returns to game action is upto the player and the team’s goalie coach.
“We’re going to start Marty (Brodeur) tomorrow, but our hope is that (Elliott’s) ready the next couple days,” said Hitchcock. “We’re hopeful that after Jimmy (Corsi) works with him today that he feels good and he’s up and running and ready to go.
“It’s up to (Elliott) and Jimmy. I think the doctors have cleared him. It’s how he feels and how he feels like he’s game ready. We’ll see. Hopefully we get good news after Jimmy comes off the ice with him, see how he feels.”
Elliott has been sidelined with a knee injury since Nov. 25.
“I was able to get a whole net for a whole practice,” Elliott said. “Just tested it even more. It gives you a workout really. It’s tough to get an actual workout without getting out there with the guys and kind of battling through drills. You get tired and you’ve got to press on. It’s more of a mental challenge as well.
“(I felt) good. Just trying to get up to the game speed. Just following pucks. It’s one thing when you’re off for a little bit, even like a three-day break like Christmas, some of the hardest things is just following the puck with your eyes so you’re tracking pucks well. It’s what I’ve been trying to do since I’ve been back on the ice. Today was another step forward.”
Elliott is 8-4-1 this season to go along with a 1.82 G.A.A. and a .931 save percentage.