ST. LOUIS --
Not only did the St. Louis Blues
lose the first two games on home ice in the Western Conference Semifinals against the Los Angeles Kings
, but coach Ken Hitchcock ruled after Game 2 that goalie Jaroslav Halak
would not be available for the remainder of the series.
Halak, who started for the Blues when the playoffs began, has a lower-body injury that he suffered in Game 2 of the conference quarterfinals against San Jose when he collided with teammate Barret Jackman
early in the second period.
Halak has been skating off and on by himself ever since and before the series with the Kings began, Hitchcock ruled Halak out for Games 1 and 2 and said they would "go from there" as the series progressed.
Hitchcock was asked at the end of his post-game press conference Monday night if Halak would be available for Game 3 Thursday night in Los Angeles.
"No," Hitchcock replied.
Asked if he would be available as a backup, the coach said before departing, "No … Jaro's out for the series. He won't play in the series."
So the Blues will move forward with Brian Elliott
, who allowed five goals on 21 shots in Game 2, as the starter and rookie Jake Allen
as the backup.