Ducks get goalie Dan Ellis

The Tampa Bay Lightning traded goaltender Dan Ellis to the Anaheim Ducks for goalie Curtis McElhinney on Thursday.

In 26 starts this season for the Lightning, Ellis was 13-7-6 with a 2.93 goals-against average and .889 save percentage. This will be his fourth NHL team.

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

With All-Star starter Jonas Hiller on injured reserve (recurrent lightheadedness), the Ducks were in need of stronger backup help as they fight for a playoff spot in the tightly packed Western Conference.

The Ducks, currently tied with the Blackhawks and Stars for ninth in the conference, signed Ray Emery to a one-year, two-way deal Feb. 7 that pays him a $500,000, pro-rated salary in the NHL and $105,000 in the minors. He was recalled by the team Wednesday and was McElhinney's backup in a 3-2 loss, the Ducks' fourth in a row.

The 28-year-old Emery is attempting a comeback from a hip condition that threatened his career. Emery underwent specialized hip surgery in April to address deterioration of the ball of his right hip without having to undergo a full replacement. He rehabbed for eight months in the Toronto area, working every day with trainer Matt Nichol.

McElhinney, who posted a 6-9-1 record in 21 appearances, with a 3.43 GAA and .890 save percentage, makes $570,000 this season (with a $535,000 cap hit). The 27-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

Ellis, 30, has another year left on his deal at $1.5 million, so the move clears out some cap space for Tampa Bay next season. The Lightning are in second place in the Eastern Conference and have a strong No. 1 goalie in Dwayne Roloson, whom they acquired in a January trade with the New York Islanders.