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Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Mike Smith says acquiring veteran Dwayne Roloson 'kind of disappointing'

PITTSBURGH — Lightning G Mike Smith said it is "kind of disappointing" that GM Steve Yzerman decided to bring in veteran G Dwayne Roloson.

Nothing against Roloson, but Smith said he is sure having three goalies on the roster, including Dan Ellis, is not workable long term, which means the pressure is on every time he or Ellis is in net.

"It's not the ideal situation," Smith said. "So, right now, for me, I have to focus on getting healthy, and when I do get an opportunity, it's that much more important now than ever before. … I know I'm probably going to get another chance. I've just got to take advantage of it."

Before he was hurt, Smith played two of his best games of the season in beating the Thrashers and Sabres with a combined 49 saves on 51 shots.

But despite his 10-5-0 record, Smith's 3.20 goals-against average and .883 save percentage are near the bottom of the league. Ellis, though 11-6-5, isn't much better, with a 3.03 GAA and .886 save percentage entering Wednesday.

"Both Ellie and I felt like we were getting back to the way we were used to playing," Smith said. "The last three weeks we played some great games, and we were doing well as a team, so it's kind of one of those things."

A thing that might end up with either Smith or Ellis traded, waived or perhaps sent to the minors.

"That makes it that much more important when you get an opportunity to do well," Smith said. "If I was sitting at 5-10, I think I'd be a little more anxious and upset."

"To figure out what they're thinking or why they did this or did that or feel sorry for yourself doesn't do any good," Ellis said. "The best approach is to learn from the situation and learn from the past and try to better yourself for the future. The goal doesn't change. You're still a goaltender for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and your job is still to stop the puck when you're given the chance."

FIRST MISTAKE: Sean Bergenheim said all he tried to do was nudge the puck, won by C Vinny Lecavalier on Wednesday's opening faceoff against the Penguins but still in the neutral zone, to D Mattias Ohlund.

But Bergenheim put the puck right on the stick of Penguins W Evgeni Malkin, who had read the play perfectly and beat Roloson on a breakaway seven seconds in for the quickest first goal scored against Tampa Bay.

"I had that right side a little bit blocked, and Malkin just jumped through there," Bergenheim said. "I probably should have put it (on the opposite side to D Mike Lundin). But it's one of those plays. You can't do anything about it. He just came there; too bad."

CHANGES: Roloson, who wore No. 31 Tuesday against the Capitals, permanently switched to 35 and ditched his Islanders mask for a plain white one. Roloson's game, too, could not have been more different Wednesday. After stopping 34 shots in a 1-0 win over Washington, he allowed five goals on 23 shots in 27 minutes.

ODDS AND ENDS: Newly signed D Marc-Andre Bergeron is on 24-hour waivers with the intention of sending him to AHL Norfolk. … Tampa Bay has allowed at least six goals in six games, losing five. … D Randy Jones (neck/shoulder) and F Mattias Ritola were scratched.

Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Mike Smith says acquiring veteran Dwayne Roloson 'kind of disappointing' 01/05/11 [Last modified: Thursday, January 6, 2011 12:15am]
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