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Sore groin won't keep Halak on sidelines

by Louie Korac /
ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues will go with Jaroslav Halak in goal tonight against the Ducks, days after coach Ken Hitchcock disclosed that Halak had a sore groin.

Halak said that the injury is nothing to be concerned with.

"It's fine. It's nothing serious," Halak said. "I could have played (Tuesday). It's not like I can't play. I can practice, I can play."

The injury occurred in the week leading up to his start Friday against Colorado, where he stopped 33 shots in a 3-2 shootout loss.

"It was fine. I knew it was there, but it didn't affect my game," Halak said. "Obviously I'm looking forward to get back in (tonight) and see game action. We'll see how it goes. I'll try to do my best out there and help the guys win a game."

Halak, who is 4-7-3 with a 2.40 goals-against average and .903 save percentage, has a 1.60 GAA and .944 save percentage in his last eight starts.

"He was sore on Monday, but he's fine now," Hitchcock said. "I could have gone with him (Tuesday). I just made the decision early to set the schedule. I had Halak playing Thursday and then I'd make a decision for which way I'd go for Saturday.

"When he said he was a little bit sore, I said, 'OK, let's just go with the schedule.' Then I saw how mad Brian (Elliott) was, that kind of defined for me to say, 'Let's stay with this.' I want to see how this fella reacts when he's angry. Some guys get angry and they can't get over it. I wanted to see if he could refocus and he did (after Saturday's 5-2 loss to Chicago). Pretty impressive."

Halak and Elliott have the Blues behind only Boston's Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask in goalie tandems. Halak and Elliott have a combined 2.08 GAA and .920 save percentage.

"As long as we can get some points and keep winning, that's all you can ask from the team or from your goalies," Halak said. "The team can only ask the goalie to give the team the best chance to win. That's what I'm trying to do.

"When they see that you're making key saves or good saves at key moments, it always helps. It's always about timing, too. They're feeding off it and playing well in front of us."
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