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St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock has decided to give goalie Jake Allen the start in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals after Brian Elliott was pulled against the San Jose Sharks in Game 3.

By Allan Muir
May 20, 2016

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Something had to change for the St. Louis Blues going into Saturday's Game 4.

They've been shut out in consecutive contests in the Western Conference finals and widely outplayed by the faster, more efficient San Jose Sharks.

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So naturally, coach Ken Hitchcock has decided to switch out his goalie.

The Blues announced Jake Allen will replace Brian Elliott between the pipes for the critical start. Allen stepped in to spell Elliott in the third period of Thursday's 3-0 loss in St. Louis. The 25-year-old stopped both shots he faced in 8:33 of ice time.

In Allen's only other appearance of the playoffs, he saved seven-of-seven in 41:24 of relief work in a 3-2 loss to Dallas in Game 6.

Elliott has been a horse for the Blues this postseason. He's posted a 9-8 record with a 2.34 goals against average and a .925 save percentage.

Tough to fault his play in this series, even as he's allowed six goals on the past 37 shots he's faced (a .837 save percentage). But Hitchcock has already done everything he can to shake up the skating portion of his roster, including three fresh faces and three revamped lines in Game 3. Desperate to shake his team out of its offensive lethargy, he's made a decision that's sure to get everyone's attention.

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The Blues know they wouldn't be where they are without Elliott, who led them to Game 7 wins over Chicago and Dallas in these playoffs. They let him down in these past two losses, not the other way around. Maybe an overwhelming sense of shame is exactly what the Blues need to get this series back on even terms.

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