Bobrovsky suffers leg injury, making Blue Jackets, Russian national team nervous

Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky left Tuesday’s game against Tampa Bay with a left leg injury. And although the Jackets beat the Bolts, a prolonged absence by Bobrovsky could hurt more than just Columbus.

Sergei Bobrovsky left Tuesday’s game against Tampa Bay with a left leg injury, putting a serious damper on the immediate, and perhaps longer-term futures of the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Russia Olympic team.

Bobrovsky was making a save on a breakaway at the 4:13 mark of the third period when he moved backward toward the post and appeared to jam his leg into it. He was unable to put any weight on the leg as he was helped off the ice.

Although Bobrovsky’s understudy Curtis McElhinney stepped in and made eight saves to preserve the shutout and give the Blue Jackets a 1-0 win over the Lightning, the absence of the Russian goaltender for any extended period would be a significant challenge for Columbus. A longer-term injury also would hurt Russia’s netminding depth at the Sochi Games.

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The 25-year-old Bobrovsky’s season statistics are pedestrian, but he was better of late, posting a 2-1-0, 2.00 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in his previous three games. But needless to say, the Jackets – still laboring near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings – need him back as soon as possible.