ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Blues are going back to goaltender Brian Elliott for Game 6 of the Western Conference finals against the San Jose Sharks.
“It’s his turn,” coach Ken Hitchcock said Tuesday. “It’s his turn for Game 6.”
Jake Allen has started the last two games and made 21 saves in a 6-3 Game 5 loss that included two empty-net goals.
The Sharks lead the series 3-2 and on Wednesday night can earn their first trip to the Stanley Cup finals. The Blues are in the conference finals for the first time since 2001.
Elliott started every game of the playoffs before Hitchcock switched to Allen for Game 4, believing a shake-up was in order, and the Blues won 6-3 in San Jose. The two split duties during the season.
“We needed a jolt to get back in the series and we got it,” Hitchcock said. “Unfortunately we didn’t get the win yesterday, but this has been Brian’s playoffs and we’d like him to finish the job.”
Hitchcock thought a couple games off might benefit the 31-year-old Elliott during the longest playoff run of his career.
“Yeah, it’s been a mental drain,” Hitchcock said. “This is the first time he’s gone through this and I think (it) allowed him to reset it. I think he’s going to be great tomorrow.”
Elliott’s 17 starts this playoffs equals his previous career total from the last four years.
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