Blue Jackets rookie standout Merzlikins returns

NHL

Columbus Blue Jackets rookie Elvis Merzlikins will make his return in goal Sunday night against the Canucks in Vancouver, British Columbia, coach John Tortorella announced.

Merzlikins, a surprise standout this season for the Blue Jackets who has the most shutouts among rookie goalies, has been out since Feb. 24 with a concussion.

He is 12-9-8 with a 2.39 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage. His five shutouts are one shy of the league lead.

Merzlikins was back with the team on Saturday and dressed as the backup in the Blue Jackets’ 4-1 loss to Edmonton.

Ahead of Columbus’ game Sunday night, the Blue Jackets were in a tie with the Hurricanes and Islanders for the two Eastern Conference wild-card slots (with 79 points).

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