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Aittokallio recalled from Lake Erie, to start for Avalanche against Lightning

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In a strange turn of events, it was revealed Saturday that goaltender Sami Aittokallio will start in net for the Colorado Avalanche when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning Saturday night.

Originally scheduled to start in Tampa, goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere tweaked his back during the morning skate prior to Friday night’s win against the Florida Panthers. He still suited up for that contest, serving as backup to Semyon Varlamov. Giguere is listed as day-to-day.

After learning he was recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL; Aittokallio flew to meet the team in Florida. The 21-year-old rookie from Finland was also recalled on Jan. 13 after Giguere suffered back spasms; serving as Varlamov's backup.

Aittokallio will make his second career NHL start against the high-powered Lightning. He played in one contest last season against the Los Angeles Kings; surrendering two goal on 25 shots to get the Avalanche into overtime before leaving the game with cramps.

Aittokallio has played in 21 games for Lake Erie this season, posting a goals-against average of 2.89 and a save percentage of .900.

John Mitchell also rejoined the team after missing Friday’s game with flu-like symptoms. He could replace Alex Tanguay in the Avalanche lineup. Tanguay returned against the Panthers after missing the previous 36 games with injury, notching an assist. Coach Patrick Roy doesn’t want to play him in back-to-back games this soon into his comeback. Nate Guenin (foot) also may play against the Lightning.