Just before the passing of the NHL Trade Deadline earlier this month, it looked like the Florida Panthers would have a wealth of experience in the crease when Roberto Luongo was acquired from the Vancouver Canucks to join Tim Thomas.
But with Thomas traded to the Dallas Stars before the deadline and Luongo now battling an upper-body injury, Florida will turn to its backups against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night at BB&T Center.
Dan Ellis entered the game Thursday during Florida's 3-0 home loss to the Carolina Hurricanes after Luongo was hurt in a collision with forward Radek Dvorak. Scott Clemmensen was called up Friday from the American Hockey League and will back up Ellis, who gets the start against Montreal.
Ellis and Clemmensen have served as backups for most of their careers, but Panthers coach Peter Horachek remained confident in his goaltending.
"[Clemmensen] has done a great job for us throughout the year," Horachek said after Florida's morning skate. "When Tim Thomas was here and got hurt, [Clemmensen] played those games. We had some road trips up there and did pretty well, won three out of four and he played three of those games. I think they're both quality guys and we'll be fine with him."