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Saves of the Night – Dan Ellis (December 22)

Dec 23, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

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This is a perfect opportunity for Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Dan Ellis.

It might seem sinister (maybe macabre?) for an athlete to benefit from another athlete’s injury, but that’s the sobering reality facing many people in sports. Just ask former NFL quarterback/television dancer Kurt Warner, who rode Trent Green’s injury to a Super Bowl sensation many moons ago.

All season long, the team’s starting job has essentially been up for grabs. Still, at the same time, the leash has been short for both Ellis and other 1a/1b partner Mike Smith (the Trent Green of this situation). Yet with Smith’s injury, Ellis has a window in which one bad start isn’t likely to kick him out of the net.

So, the question is: will Ellis grab hold of this opportunity or will it go to a rotation, Smith or (dare I ask) Evgeni Nabokov? That hasn’t been decided at this point by any means, but while he didn’t win against the lowly New York Islanders, he stopped all but two shots.

Two of those saves were quite impressive, so I thought I’d provide both for you this morning. The first one is my favorite, by the way.

Save number one:

Save number two:

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