ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues placed goalie Brian Elliott on long-term injured reserve Tuesday after he sustaining a lower-body injury Monday against the San Jose Sharks; he will be reevaluated in four weeks.
Elliott, who had started 18 consecutive games with Jake Allen sidelined with a knee injury, was injured at 12:59 of the first period on a goalmouth scramble that led to the Sharks' Logan Couture scoring San Jose's third goal.
Elliott needed attention immediately, and teammate Kevin Shattenkirk waved on for the Blues' training staff to come onto the ice. Elliott got up after being attended to by head athletic trainer Ray Barile and did some quick cuts in the crease before skating off the ice. He was seen limping to the locker room and did not return in what was a 6-3 loss.
Elliott, who is 17-7-6 in 34 games with a 2.14 GAA that ranks fifth in the NHL and .929 save percentage that ranks third in the League, was replaced by Allen.
Allen, who was activated Sunday after missing six-plus weeks, will start Thursday against the New York Rangers (8 p.m. ET; MSG, FS-MW, NHL.TV). The Blues recalled goalie Pheonix Copley from Chicago of the American Hockey League, where he was 12-12-2 with a 2.73 GAA and .907 save percentage.
"Seems to be the order of the day (and) of the year," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said after a 6-3 loss Monday. "… If Brian can't go, then it's Jake's turn now."
It's the latest in a strong of injuries for the Blues; Elliott joins forwards Alexander Steen (upper body) and Steve Ott (hamstring) and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (knee) on injured reserve. Steen was injured Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes and will be reevaluated in four weeks; Pietrangelo has been out since Feb. 6 and was expected to be reevaluated in three weeks and Ott has not played since Dec. 5.
Video: STL@ARI: Elliott prevents breakaway goal in 2nd
Earlier this season, the Blues were without forward Robby Fabbri for six games (concussion), defenseman Shattenkirk for 10 games (groin), forward Paul Stastny for 16 games (broken foot), defenseman Jay Bouwmeester for four games (concussion), forward Jaden Schwartz for 49 games (fractured ankle), forward Patrik Berglund for 40 games (shoulder), defenseman Carl Gunnarsson for six games (upper body), forward Magnus Paajarvi for seven games (upper body) and Allen for 17 games.
"Next man up" seems to be the Blues' mantra. They were at 220 man-games lost due to injury, according to mangameslost.com, before Monday.
"It's next man up, different guys filling roles," captain David Backes said. "You get [Steen] out, and I said it the other day, he's our best all-around player and he's a big void to fill already with [Pietrangelo] out. And then [Elliott] going out, it's one of those things we've faced all year. We've got different guys that need to step up and fill those roles."
Now it's up to Allen to reclaim the No. 1 job for the time being; he is 18-11-3 with a 2.18 GAA (eighth in the League) and .923 save percentage (ninth).
Allen wasn't expected to play until the weekend when the Blues play back-to-back games at the Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes, but now he's been thrust back into the top spot unexpectedly and he's ready.
"I've done it all year long, I don't see why not," Allen said. "That's what I've been working for the last week, I've felt good the last week. I just wanted to get back the timing, speed and instincts. The scenario I'm in, have no choice and get back at it and make the most of it. If they need me for the rest of the year, then it's great. I'm looking forward to it."
Video: LAK@STL: Elliott keeps the game alive in overtime
It's not the ideal situation, but the Blues feel fortunate to have two bona-fide No. 1 goalies at their disposal.
"A lot of teams don't have that luxury to have two No. 1 guys who can step in and be rock-solid," defenseman Robert Bortuzzo said. "Unfortunately, we've had incidents where guys have gone down. Both guys are rock-solid and stepped up in a huge way all year and we expect that to continue.
"Jake's the consummate pro. He's been rock-solid for us all year. It's nothing out of the ordinary. It's kind of what we expect out of him. He's been a rock for us, and I'm sure he didn't want his first situation to be as such. It's obviously tough losing [Elliott], but guys are all pros and stepping up here and it's next man up; it's kind of how it's been around here."
With the NHL Trade Deadline coming on Feb. 29 at 3 p.m. ET, and Elliott out at least the next 11-12 games, general manager Doug Armstrong could look for temporary goaltending help to back up Allen.
"Thankfully Jake's healthy and it seems like he'll get the reins here for a little bit," Backes said. "When [Elliott] is back, we'll have that two-headed monster back and going to have our choice of guys to pick from."