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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
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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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