WHERE: Scotiabank Place, Ottawa, Ontario
WHEN: 7 PM EDT
MEDIA: Sun Sports (cable), 620 WDAE (radio)
OPPONENT COVERAGE: Silver Seven
Remember waaaaaay back in February? The Lightning made an out-of-the-blue move and traded Dan Ellis to the Anaheim Ducks for Curtis McElhinney. McElhinney's numbers seemeed to make you think that the Bolts had just acquired another Ellis. There was a method to the madness -- seemingly -- as McElhinney was destined for AHL Norfolk, while Mike Smith was to be recalled by the Bolts.
And then an unexpected (but, what was thought of as, unimportant) thing happened -- the Bolts lost McElhinney on waivers to the Ottawa Senators. At the time, it looked like it ultimately was just more money saving in the end -- The Ellis-for-McElhinney deal had already shed money for the Bolts, and now the remainder of McElhinney's contract was off the books. The Bolts didn't seem to have plans for him anyway and the franchise would be okay with the goaltenders they have.
Yeah, well, about that...
Curtis McElhinney's stat line in Ottawa reads as thus -- 3 games played, a 2-1-0 record, a 1.72 goals-against average, a .939 save percentage, and wins against the Bolts and the New Jersey Devils.
Not bad for a spot-starter.
The Bolts are wrapping up their road trip through Eastern Canada, they've amassed 3 out of a possible 4 points during this trip, and have made headlines by with awesome saves...
...and helping PK Subban in his quest to attain a Academy Award nomination. Vincent Lecavalier is not happy with what transpired Thursday night, but then again, how many players with incidents with Subban are left happy and thinking more highly of him afterward? Well, sans Jeff Skinner during the All-Star game Super Skills competition? But that was just goofing off and good fun.
But the importance of that drama is nil for tonight's action in Ottawa. No, the drama that does have importance is that Simon Gagne is out of action once again with his neck injury re-igniting. Yes, that's the same injury that kept him out of action for quite some time early in the season.
With Gagne out, that ensures the Bolts play with 7-D tonight. And while we're all concerned to oen degree or another about the wing-ills of the Lightning (Gagne, Ryan Malone, and Steve Downie), there is some light to be shed on the subject. Ryan Malone is progressing, skating with the team, participating in drills, just wearing the no-contact jersey while he does it.
One final Lightning note on this preview: Dwayne Roloson, who seemingly got hurt at the end of regulation in Montreal, will be the starter tonight in Ottawa. And on a sidenote: Lightning prospect Dustin Tokarski is day-to-day after an injury during practice. Tokarski was 9-1-2 during a 12 game stretch for the Norfolk Admirals. Cedrick Desjardins made his first start in weeks last night, helping the Admirals beat the Albany Devils 4-1.