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Tampa Bay Lightning sign free agent goalie Antero Niittymaki

TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning signed free agent goaltender Antero Niittymaki on Friday.

The former Philadelphia Flyers backup appeared in 32 games last season, posting a 15-8-6 record, a .912 save percentage and a 2.76 goals-against average with one shutout.

The 6-1, 195-pound Finland native is in his sixth NHL season, having played in 161 career games, all with the Flyers.

Niittymaki will be expected to backup Lightning starter Mike Smith.

"Not only is Antero already an established number two in the NHL who can steal games, but we feel he is very capable of working with Mike Smith to give us a formidable 1-2 punch in goal," said general manager Brian Lawton in a statement.

"We fully recognized the need to add an experienced back-up goaltender this summer and today we feel we've accomplished that goal."

Smith missed the final two months last season due to post concussion syndrome. The Lightning have said Smith will be ready for the start of training camp in September.


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