Dan Ellis will be the Nashville Predators’ starting goalie for the second time in as many games, coach Barry Trotz said Wednesday.
Ellis will be in the nets Thursday when the Predators play their 2009-10 home opener against the Colorado Avalanche (7 p.m., Sommet Center). Pekka Rinne will be the starter Saturday at home against Buffalo.
“I want to get them both going,” Trotz said. “ … If you look at our schedule, there’s a lot of weeks where we have four games. To ask a goalie to play all four, it probably hurts their performance.
“If we can get both goalies going … not too many teams can say, ‘Hey, I have two goalies who can win us hockey games any night.’ If we can get to that point, I think that’s a huge advantage for us.”
Ellis made 38 saves on 40 shots and stopped three of five skaters in a shootout last Saturday when Nashville opened the season with a 3-2 victory at Dallas.
Rinne played in 35 of the final 40 games and notched Nashville’s last 15 wins last season.
“(Ellis) gave us a good performance in Dallas so we’re going to come back with him,” Trotz said. “(Rinne) knows he’s playing Saturday, so he can get ready for that.
“We haven’t made any decision on the Monday game (at home against Edmonton).”
Forwards J.P. Dumont and Jordin Tootoo will not play against the Avalanche.
According to Trotz, Dumont does not have a concussion but continues to feel the effects of a hit that knocked him from Saturday’s season-opener in Dallas.
“He’s still OK but not quite right,” Trotz said. “We’re just being cautious.”
Patric Hornqvist will replace Dumont on the Predators’ top line with Jason Arnott and Steve Sullivan.
Tootoo has been sidelined with a hip flexor strain sustained in practice during the final week of training camp.
“We want to get that right,” Trotz said. “He’s doing some stuff now. I’m hoping by the weekend, he’ll start (to skate).”
Joel Ward (groin) skated with the team Wednesday and looks ready to come off Injured Reserve. If he does, he will play against Colorado.
Rookie Colin Wilson (groin) is scheduled to start skating on Monday.
NHL vet signs with Preds; heads to Milwaukee
The Predators signed 33-year-old forward Dave Scatchard and assigned him to Milwaukee.
Scatchard last played in the NHL in 2006-07 when he appeared in 46 games for the Phoenix Coyotes. His only action in 2008-09 was 11 games in the AHL, including eight with Milwaukee.
For his career he has appeared in 635 NHL games with four different franchises.
Prior to this season he was in training camp with Vancouver on a Professional Tryout Agreement. He signed with Nashville for one year at an NHL salary of $550,000 and an AHL salary of $105,000.
• Ellis improved to 4-5 in career shootouts with Saturday’s victory. He remained, however, the only Predators’ goalie with a losing record in such situations. Pekka Rinne went 5-2 last season as a rookie and former Predators Chris Mason and Tomas Vokoun were 7-5 and 6-6, respectively.
• Colorado won three of four from Nashville last season. It was the first time since 2002-03 the Avalanche won the season series.
• Nashville will be the last Western Conference team to play its second game. Phoenix played its second Wednesday night.
Three teams from the East (Atlanta, Buffalo and the New York Islanders) all have played only once, but each also will be in action Thursday.