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Ready to Step In: Ellis To Hit Milestone With New Club

New goalie pair puts Panthers in a good position for the future

Saturday, 03.22.2014 / 10:00 AM ET / News
By Adelyn Biedenbach  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Ready to Step In: Ellis To Hit Milestone With New Club
The next start for Florida\'s Dan Ellis will be the 200th of his NHL Career. \r\n
Goaltender Dan Ellis warms up before a Panthers game at BB&T Center (Getty Images).

The next start for Florida’s “other” new goaltender will be the 200th of his career.

While it will be just his second as a member of his new club, there’s a face behind the Panthers bench who is familiar with Dan Ellis’ style of play and dedication to the sport.

"He handles the puck really well, he's like another D back there,” said Interim Head Coach Peter Horachek, who worked with Ellis in Nashville.

Acquired one day before the NHL trade deadline from the Dallas Stars in exchange for Tim Thomas, Ellis brings eight years of NHL experience from five different teams to Florida.

"I think it's an exciting place to be,” said Ellis, who noted upon his arrival that the Panthers new ownership has provided stability to the organization.

Drafted by Dallas in the second round (60th overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry draft, Ellis appeared in his first NHL game in 2003. The 33-year-old Saskatoon, SK native has honed his skills with the Stars, Predators, Ducks, Hurricanes and Lightning.

“He’s very calm with the puck and very confident with the puck,” said Horachek. “He’s capable of stepping in and winning.” He has won “some big games and stopped a lot of shots.”

Fitting into the future of the Panthers franchise both in personality and play, Ellis and Roberto Luongo solidify goaltending for the Cats as they finish out the season stretch and look forward to next year.

"I think long term for the future of the team, even further down the road than this year or even next year, it's a good set up," said Horachek.

Likely to make his milestone start this weekend during back-to-back games against LA and Anaheim, Ellis wants to end the year on a high note.

“You want to be able to make a good final push and get yourself in a position that will get you expecting to win next year,” said Ellis.

Ellis made his first start with the Panthers on March 13, making 23 saves in Florida’s 5-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"Whatever games I get to play in, I have to try to play the best I can,” said Ellis after his first practice with the team, “Otherwise I'm going to try to help Roberto Luongo be the best goalie he can be.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 74 35 35 4 203 230 74
13 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 71 13 32 7 45
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 73 7 33 -1 40
J. Jagr 69 13 25 -4 38
B. Boyes 72 12 23 10 35
A. Ekblad 73 11 24 10 35
J. Hayes 64 18 13 -4 31
A. Barkov 63 12 17 -2 29
B. Campbell 74 3 21 1 24
B. Pirri 41 20 2 5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 17 11 .922 2.32
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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