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Elliott Set to Return Against Canucks

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

VANCOUVER - Blues goaltender Brian Elliott will be activated from injured reserve and will start Saturday night against the Vancouver Canucks.

Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock made the announcement after Friday’s team practice at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

“He feels good, no issues. It couldn’t come at a better time for both guys to be ready to play for us,” Hitchcock said. “Ells will get the start on Saturday night and we’ll go from there.”

Elliott has been sidelined since Feb. 22 when he sustained a lower-body injury during a goal-mouth scramble against the San Jose Sharks. Before the injury, Elliott had gone 12-3-3 and surged to the League lead in goals-against average (2.06) and save-percentage (.931).

In Elliott’s absence, Allen has made 10 consecutive starts.

“It’s good to get the opportunity to get back in there,” Elliott said. “I’ve been practicing well for almost two weeks now, so it’s good to get back in game action.”

“We’re excited to get him back,” added Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. “He’s a guy we all look to in this locker room that works really hard, takes every day as an opportunity to get better, and we feed off that when he’s around us.”

Elliott, who was placed on long-term injured reserve at the time of injury, wasn’t eligible to return for 10 games and 24 days. Both of those deadlines passed Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

Elliott said he’s happy to get back into action with 10 games remaining in the regular-season schedule.

“It doesn’t really matter what time of year it is, but when it’s getting close to the playoffs, it’s exciting when you’re one of the top teams in the League and you have an opportunity that doesn’t come around often… you want to be part of it in anyway possible. You’ve got to make sure you’re all right and you're 100 percent to go, but it definitely gives you a little more motivation.”

Now with both Elliott and Allen healthy for the first time since January 8, Hitchcock said he intends to use both goalies in the final stretch before making a decision on who would start for the playoffs.

“I started the season wanting it to play out and it’s played out both ways,” Hitchcock said. “I think after (these remaining) 10 games, I’m going to figure it out. But I don’t think I’m in a position based on both guys’ health to announce anything to anybody other than let’s play, let’s get some games in for everybody and see how we look.

“The feeling is we’ve had to use two goalies, and we might have to use two goalies again, we’re not sure,” Hitchcock added. “I know I’m going to have to make a decision sooner or later here, but I’m not in a position to make it right now.”

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