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Ducks, Lightning swap backup goalies @NHLdotcom

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - The Anaheim Ducks swapped backup goalies with Tampa Bay on Thursday, trading struggling Curtis McElhinney to the Lightning for Dan Ellis.

Anaheim made the deal one day after McElhinney lost his fourth straight start while Jonas Hiller is out with dizziness and fatigue.

McElhinney has played in a career-high 21 games this season, but he flopped in a chance to fill in for the Ducks' All-Star goalie. He has allowed 19 goals in the past four games, including Wednesday night's 3-2 home loss to Los Angeles.

Ellis is 13-7-6 with unimpressive statistics while losing his starting job to Dwayne Roloson in Tampa Bay, which signed him as a free agent last July. But the former Nashville goalie is 5-2-2 in his last 11 appearances, stopping 91 percent of the shots he has faced.

"We are excited to acquire a goaltender of Dan's caliber, someone we feel can help us immediately," Ducks general manager Bob Murray said. "He has experience playing in big games down the stretch."

Anaheim also recalled newly signed veteran goalie Ray Emery from the minors on Wednesday. The Ducks haven't announced who will start against Minnesota on Friday night.

Hiller has finished just one game since his first trip to the All-Star game, sitting out with a malady that team doctors suspect might be vertigo. Hiller was on the ice with his teammates Thursday, but hasn't been cleared to return to full practices.

The 30-year-old Ellis is 63-49-14 with 12 shutouts in his career with Dallas, Nashville and Tampa Bay. He also appeared in six playoff games with the Predators.

Anaheim (32-25-4) began Thursday in a three-way tie for ninth place in the Western Conference, falling out of a playoff spot with four consecutive losses. The Ducks' 181 goals allowed are the third-most in the conference.

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