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At the Rink blog

With Halak struggling, Blues turn to Elliott vs. Canes

Friday, 10.21.2011 / 2:10 PM

By Louie Korac - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
With Halak struggling, Blues turn to Elliott vs. Canes
ST. LOUIS -- Getting the ship righted in goal is an area that's a must for the Blues, and Brian Elliott will spell the struggling Jaroslav Halak against the Canes tonight.

Halak, who began last season with an 8-1-1 record, a 1.46 goals-against average and .944 save percentage, is only 1-4-0 with a 3.47 GAA and .835 save percentage.

"You've got a proud athlete," coach Davis Payne said of Halak. "He knows he's got to get better. He's accountable to it. He's not hiding from that fact. His assessment is no different from ours. We know where we are and we know where we've got to go. He's a good goaltender. He's going to put the work in and he's going to be a good goaltender."

Elliott is 1-0-0 with a 2.26 GAA and .929 save percentage in two games. In his only start against San Jose, Elliott stopped 34 shots, including a highlight-reel save on the Sharks' Dan Boyle in a 3-2 game late in the third period.

Payne said the decision to go with Elliott tonight is simple.

"The way he played in San Jose, the way he played in the third period against L.A. and Jaro's play," Payne said. "Quite simply put, (Elliott) has given us a chance. He needs to give us another."

Here's how the lineups for tonight's game should look:

BLUES
Vladimir Sobotka - David Backes - Chris Stewart
Chris Porter - Patrik Berglund - T.J. Oshie
Alex Steen - Jason Arnott - Jamie Langenbrunner
Matt D'Agostini - Scott Nichol - Evgeny Grachev

Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk
Kent Huskins - Alex Pietrangelo
Carlo Colaiacovo - Roman Polak

Elliott gets the start in goal; Halak will be the backup. No decision has been made yet who starts Saturday night in Philadelphia.

Colaiacovo (concussion) has been taken off of injured reserve and will be back in the lineup tonight. He missed the previous five games after being injured in the season-opener Oct. 8.

"Three good practices under his belt, but a solid practice yesterday, handled the pace and the competitive aspect of it," Payne said of Colaiacovo. "He should be ready to go, give us a boost."

HURRICANES
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Eric Staal - Tuomo Ruutu
Jiri Tlusty - Brandon Sutter - Patrick Dwyer
Jussi Jokinen - Jeff Skinner - Chad LaRose
Brett Sutter - Tim Brent - Anthony Stewart

Tim Gleason - Bryan Allen
Joni Pitkanen - Jamie McBain
Jay Harrison - Tomas Kaberle

Cam Ward gets the start in goal; Brian Boucher is the backup.
Quote of the Day

My focus is always just to play as well as I can and do my job, no matter where the faceoff is.

— New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin on using his speed to his advantage
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