Still unsure when Jonas Hiller will recover from his apparent case of vertigo and worried that their playoff hopes will be lost because of inadequate goaltending, the Ducks on Thursday acquired goalie Dan Ellis from Tampa Bay for goalie Curtis McElhinney.
Ellis was expected to report Thursday and likely to start on Friday against Minnesota at the Honda Center.
The move means Ray Emery, who was recalled from Syracuse of the American Hockey League on Wednesday and backed up McElhinney on Wednesday, will be a backup for now instead of moving into a starting role.
McElhinney had been struggling while the Ducks lost four straight games and fell out of the top eight in the Western Conference. He played better in the Ducks’ 3-2 loss to the Kings on Wednesday but the Ducks didn’t feel confident with him as a starter the rest of the season.
He can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. Ellis is earning $1.5 million this season and will earn the same amount next season.
Ellis wasn’t having a good season with Tampa Bay, which had acquired Dwayne Roloson to be its starter. Ellis had a 13-7-6 record, 2.93 goals-against average and .889 save percentage in 31 games with the Lightning this season. However, he had solid stats with the Nashville Predators before that, compiling a 49-42-8 record 2.64 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in 110 games. He also appeared in six playoff games for the Predators.
More later at www.latimes.com/sports
Photo: Tampa Bay Lightning's Dan Ellis stops the puck as Florida Panthers' Dennis Wideman attempts a shot in January. Credit: Lynne Sladky / Associated Press