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Elliott to start Game 6 for Blues against Sharks

Veteran goaltender gets call with St. Louis trailing Western Conference Final 3-2

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues are going back to goalie Brian Elliott for Game 6 of the Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

The Sharks lead the best-of-7 series 3-2.

Elliott started the Blues' first 17 games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He is 9-8 with a 2.34 goals-against average and .925 save percentage but was relieved by Jake Allen midway through the third period of Game 3 after allowing three goals on 14 shots. Allen made 31 saves in the Blues' 6-3 win in Game 4, but allowed four goals on 25 shots in a 6-3 loss in Game 5 on Monday.

"It's his turn," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "This has been Brian's playoffs and we'd like him to finish the job."

Hitchcock went to Allen for Game 4 as a means to spark the Blues and perhaps alter momentum after they were shut out in back-to-back playoff games for the first time in their history in Games 2 and 3. 

"We needed a jolt to get back in the series; we got it," Hitchcock said. "We could have really got out of it [Monday]. ... We needed the jolt from Jake, we got it to get back into the series. Unfortunately, we didn't get the win [Monday]."

Elliott was 23-8-6 with a 2.07 goals-against average and .930 save percentage in the regular season. His 17 playoff starts came in a span of 37 days and Hitchcock said the goalie might have needed a mental reset.

"It's been a mental drain," Hitchcock said. "For his career, this is the first time he's gone through this, and I think it allowed him to reset it and I think he'll be great [Wednesday]."

The switching is nothing new for the players, who didn't know who would be in goal before Hitchcock spoke to the media. It doesn't seem to bother them because of their confidence in both Elliott and Allen.
"Both are great," forward Patrik Berglund said Tuesday before the Blues departed for San Jose. "We believe in both of them. Whatever happens [Wednesday], whoever's in net … We trust them both for sure."

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