TAMPA — The battle for the Lightning backup goalie spot took another twist Sunday.
Tampa Bay claimed Kevin Poulin, 25, off waivers from the Islanders and then released veteran Ray Emery, 32, from his training camp tryout invitation. With Adam Wilcox and Allen York reassigned to AHL Syracuse on Sunday, that means Kristers Gudlevskis, 21, and Poulin will compete for who will temporarily replace Andrei Vasilevskiy, who is expected to miss at least the first month following vascular surgery for a blood clot.
Poulin has 50 games of NHL experience, as opposed to Gudlevskis' three. He is 18-25-3 with a 3.07 goals-against average and a .899 save percentage.
Gudlevskis made his preseason debut Friday against the Panthers, stopping 17 of 18 shots after missing a week with an upper-body injury. Emery hadn't been overly impressive in early practices, then gave up six goals in his first full game Saturday against the Stars. Though coach Jon Cooper attributed some of that to the young Lightning lineup and some "puck luck," giving up six goals while on a tryout is not a good thing.
The Lightning has three exhibitions left, starting Tuesday in Johnstown, Pa., against the Penguins. Expect Gudlevskis and Poulin to get extended looks, with a decision needing to come by the Oct. 8 season opener against the Flyers about who will back up Ben Bishop.
With the Islanders set in net, Poulin was expendable. He has one year remaining on his contract at $600,000 before becoming a restricted free agent. The Lightning would have to clear Poulin through waivers if it wants to send him down to AHL Syracuse, giving the Montreal native a contractual advantage over Gudlevskis, who doesn't require waivers.
CUT DOWN: The Lightning cut 23 players Sunday, reassigning them to Syracuse, with 30 remaining in camp. Tampa Bay must get down to 23 by the season opener.
With the Crunch opening camp in France this week, the cuts were expected. Some notable prospects are still in Lightning camp: defenseman Slater Koekkoek, center Mike Angelidis and center Brayden Point, who must play with the Lightning or go back to juniors.
The biggest names among the cuts were defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, a 2014 first-round draft pick, and forwards Adam Erne and Matthew Peca, who impressed in camp.
The others cut: defensemen Dylan Blujus, Charlie Dodero, Jake Dotchin, Joey Mormina, Matt Taormina, Daniel Walcott; forwards Cam Darcy, Mike Blunden, David Broll, Yanni Gourde, Brian Hart, Henri Ikonen, Ryan Martindale, Tye McGinn, Philippe Paradis, Tanner Richard, Jeff Tambellini, Joel Vermin; and goalies Wilcox and York.
Blunden, Paradis, McGinn, Tambellini and Taormina must clear waivers by today.
PAQUETTE OKAY: X-rays of center Cedric Paquette's left leg were negative, and the gritty forward was considered day to day. Paquette went down late in the third period Saturday with an injury to his left leg after he blocked a shot while on the penalty kill. He had to be helped off the ice, but he was walking around after the game.
Around the league
Blackhawks: Defenseman Brent Seabrook, who has won three Stanley Cups in Chicago, agreed to an eight-year contract extension that ESPN said is worth $55 million. Seabrook, 30, could have been an unrestricted free agent after the season.
Information from Times wires was used in this report. Contact Joe Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.