Coming off his third career shutout, the backup is expected to start again at the Sommet Center on Thursday night when the Predators look for their sixth straight victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
Ellis stopped all 22 shots in Nashville’s 1-0 win at Dallas on Monday. The victory improved the Predators (18-18-2) to 4-2-0 since losing five in a row.
The win also was special for Ellis, who was drafted in the second round the Stars in 2002 and played his only NHL game prior to this season with them in February 2004.
“I loved being a Dallas Star and have the utmost respect for their organization, but (Monday) was an opportunity to play for the Predators,” said Ellis, who has three of the Predators’ four shutouts this season. “They’re the ones that gave me a shot in the NHL.”
Ellis spent almost all his time in the minors while with Dallas, waiting for a chance behind Marty Turco. Ellis signed with Nashville as a free agent last summer to back up Chris Mason and has been more than serviceable in that department. He is 8-4-0 with a 2.36 goals-against average and continues to put the heat on Mason, who is 10-14-2 with 3.09 GAA.
“He’s a good fundamental goalie,” Turco said of Ellis. “He gives you a solid performance each night. He’s made the most of his chances and it’s exciting for me to see him play at this level.”
Ellis, who bounced back Monday after being pulled when he allowed two goals on three shots in Nashville’s 5-2 loss at Chicago on Dec. 26, made 30 saves in the Predators’ 4-1 win at Edmonton on Nov. 2.
“I’m really happy for Ellie,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “He’s been a real good story for us this year.”
Dumont has goals in each of his last two games, while Arnott scored in the last meeting with Edmonton, the team he broke into the league with in 1993.
David Legwand, the Predators’ second-leading scorer, is expected to miss his second straight game with a chest injury.
Edmonton (17-20-4) won 3-2 in overtime at St. Louis on Wednesday to snap a season-high six-game losing streak in which they lost each game by two goals or less.
“The whole stretch that we’ve had here, the whole team has been playing well,” said Oilers coach Craig MacTavish, whose team went 0-4-2 during the skid
Dustin Penner had two goals, his second coming with 17.8 seconds left in the extra session for the Oilers, who conclude their four-game road trip Thursday.
Mathieu Garon made 31 saves against the Blues to snap a three-game losing streak, but could return to the bench. If he starts, Dwayne Roloson will try to avoid a third straight loss overall and fifth in a row versus Nashville.