Blue Jackets' Goalie Out "Week-to-Week" with Upper Body Injury

Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins is out "week-to-week" after suffering an upper body injury versus the Nashville Predators Saturday. 

According to Aaron Portzline of The Athletic, the injury is in his left arm/shoulder area. Merzlikins' fellow Lativian, Matiss Kivelenieks will take over the backup role for the team until his return.

The injury happened in the third period of Saturday's game versus the Predators when his arm appeared to get caught under him as he attempted to cover the puck. Merzlikins left the ice favouring his left side as Korpisalo came in to take over. 

Prior to his exit, he had let in four goals on 39 shots. Over nine games so far this season, Merzlikins has posted a 2.81 goals against average (GAA) and a .917 save percentage (SV %). 

Drafted 76th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the 28-year-old made his NHL debut on Oct. 5, 2019 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, allowing seven goals in the game. 

He was sent down to the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League, but only made one start with the team before returning to the Blue Jackets. An injury to Korpisalo on December 30, 2019 gave Merzlikins another chance in the net. He earned his first NHL win the following night against the Florida Panthers, a 4-1 victory. Merzlikins would earn his first shutout the next month against the Las Vegas Golden Knights. 

His countryman, Kivlenieks, will takeover behind Korpisalo. The former Sioux City Musketeer (USHL) has yet to play a game for the Jackets this season, spending all year on the taxi squad. He made his NHL debut last season, earning his first win Jan. 19, 2020 against the New York Rangers. In six games during the 2019-20 season, Kivlenieks posted a 2.95 GAA and a .898 SV %.


Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire

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