Joonas Korpisalo is out for the season for the Columbus Blue Jackets with a lower-body injury.
The goalie was injured in the third period of a 4-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday trying to stop Alex Barre-Boulet‘s game-tying goal at 2:41, and left the game. Elvis Merzlikins made seven saves in relief.
“With both Elvis and [Korpisalo], I think it’s been a struggle the past little while here,” Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said Tuesday. “That’s why it’s so disappointing for me, for [Korpisalo], because I thought he was playing one of his better games in quite a while before he was injured.”
Korpisalo was 9-13-7 with a 3.30 goals-against average and .894 save percentage in 33 games (31 starts) this season. Merzlikins is 6-12-3 with a 2.94 GAA and .910 save percentage.
“Listen, we give them no run support,” Tortorella said. “It puts a lot more pressure on them and that’s not withstanding. I know that adds a little bit more pressure on these guys, but I think they have played kind of like our team has played. We’ve been in and out and average at times.
“I don’t think they’ve been bad, but I don’t think they’ve been at the total level that I think they can play at. That why it’s so frustrating with [Korpisalo] because he was so good in that game before he was injured.”
The Blue Jackets (15-25-10) host the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; BSOH, BSDET+, NHL.TV). They’re last in the eight-team Discover Central Division and failed to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2015-16 after they were eliminated from contention when they lost 3-1 at the Lightning on April 22.
NHL.com independent correspondent Craig Merz contributed to this report