Merzlikins week to week for Blue Jackets with upper-body injury


Elvis Merzlikins is week to week for the Columbus Blue Jackets because of an upper-body injury.

The goalie left at 2:40 of the third period after he made 35 saves in a 4-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

“He made massive saves once again for us,” Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones said after the game. “It was unfortunate to see him go down.”

Merzlikins made 32 saves in a 3-0 win against the Predators on Thursday in his first start since Jan. 31. He sustained an upper-body injury Feb. 3 during practice and was placed on injured reserve until Feb. 11.

Merzlikins is 3-3-1 with a 2.81 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in nine games (seven starts) this season. He was 13-9-9 with a 2.35 GAA and .923 save percentage as a rookie last season.

Matiss Kivlenieks is expected to be the backup goalie behind Joonas Korpisalo while Merzlikins is out.

The Blue Jackets (8-7-4) next play Tuesday when they host the Chicago Blackhawks.

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