As expected, Jaroslav Halak will start Game 1 of the St. Louis Blues' first-round series with the San Jose Sharks.
With Brian Elliott injured --he's listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury -- Blues coach Ken Hitchcock's decision to go with Halak was a no-brainer. Elliott didn't practice Wednesday in the hope he'll be available as the backup for Thursday's series opener.
"Obviously, Halak's starting," Hitchcock said. "That one's done. It made the decision yesterday pretty easy. We'll start with Jaro and like everything else, hope for the best."
Although Elliott led the NHL in goals-against average at 1.56, Halak wasn't too shabby, either. He went 26-12-7 with a 1.97 GAA and .926 save percentage in the regular season.
"Yeah, it was a big decision before Elliott got hurt," Hitchcock said. "But we're pretty hopeful that he's going to be able to back up (Thursday) and get himself ready, but we're not 100%."