Tortorella: No timeline for Merzlikins' return from injury
"He's out. I'm not sure how long," the head coach told assembled media, including team reporter Jeff Svoboda, on Monday.
Tortorella did not elaborate on why the talented rookie goaltender will miss time.
Merzlikins opened Columbus' qualifying-round matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs as his team's backup netminder but replaced Joonas Korpisalo in Game 3, helping the Blue Jackets erase a three-goal deficit en route to an overtime victory.
Merzlikins then started Game 4, making 49 saves in a 4-3 overtime loss that included a three-goal rally by the Maple Leafs with less than four minutes left in regulation.
Tortorella tabbed Korpisalo as Columbus' starter for Game 5, saying before the contest that Merzlikins was hurt but offering no specifics. Korpisalo ultimately shut out the Maple Leafs to help the Blue Jackets clinch the series.
Merzlikins burst onto the NHL scene in a big way during the regular season. The 26-year-old posted a .923 save percentage and 12.1 goals saved above average in 33 games before the league halted play. He went 13-5-5 with a .935 save percentage and an NHL-best 13.11 GSAA at five-on-five after taking over as the Blue Jackets' No. 1 goalie on Dec. 29.