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Stanley Cup Final

Blue Jackets' McElhinney could miss opener

Friday, 09.20.2013 / 10:29 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / Training Camp 2013 blog

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Curtis McElhinney didn't practice Friday due to a lower-body injury and reportedly might not be ready for opening night.

The injury to McElhinney, slated to back up starter Sergei Bobrovsky, "might be a week to two weeks, is what we’re hoping," coach Todd Richards told the Columbus Dispatch.

That timeline could mean McElhinney won't be ready for the Blue Jackets' opener against the Calgary Flames on Oct. 4. Mike McKenna or Jeremy Smith, slated to split the goaltending for Columbus's American Hockey League affiliate, the Springfield Falcons, could instead back up Bobrovsky.

Neither Smith nor McKenna has distanced himself from the other during training camp, Richards told the newspaper. Smith and Bobrovsky will dress for Saturday's road game against the Pittsburgh Penguins (4 p.m. ET; NHLN-US).

Smith, 24, has spent his entire pro career in the minor leagues. McKenna, 30, has played 17 NHL games. He was 4-8-1 with a 3.56 goals-against average and a save percentage of .887 in 15 games for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2008-09 and 0-1-0 with a 3.05 GAA and .893 save percentage with the New Jersey Devils in 2010-11.

I've been getting frustrated lately, and the only thing keeping me sane was the team winning and other people stepping up and scoring. Then you just kind of let it go and realize you can end the series with one shot, that frustration goes away for a brief moment, and that's what happened.

— Montreal forward Max Pacioretty after scoring the series-winner in Game 4 -- his first career playoff goal -- to eliminate the Lightning and send the Canadiens into the second round