Blues will start Halak in goal vs Sharks

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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Jaroslav Halak will start in goal for the St. Louis Blues in their playoff opener against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.

Coach Ken Hitchcock announced his decision Wednesday. Goaltender Brian Elliott is nursing an unspecified upper-body injury and he didn't practice.

Elliott led the NHL with a 1.56 goals-against average and nine shutouts.

Halak wasn't far behind with a 1.97 goals-against average and six shutouts. He is playoff-tested and won a pair of Game 7s with the Canadiens in 2009-10.