Leighton allowed two goals on 22 shots in Tuesday's 2-1 preseason defeat to Carolina. The 36-year-old Leighton played the entirety of the contest against one of his many former teams. A career journeyman, Leighton was great with AHL Charlotte last season, posting a 2.17 GAA and .921 save percentage, and he should be a good depth option in the event that NHL goalies Andrei Vasilevskiy or Peter Budaj get hurt.
Leighton will patrol the blue paint versus the Hurricanes on Tuesday, Bryan Burns of NHL.com reports. Leighton is unlikely to dethrone Peter Budaj from the No. 2 role in Tampa Bay, with AHL Syracuse his probable landing spot for 2017-18. Even though it's only a preseason contest, the 36-year-old Leighton should be motivated to perform well against his former club.
Leighton signed a a one-year, two-way contract with the Lightning on Saturday. Leighton is now 36 and his best is behind him. He did see action in four games with the Canes last season, going 2-2-0-0 with a 3.43 GAA and .870 save percentage. Leighton spent most of last season with the AHL Charolette Checkers and went 11-7-3 in 23 games. He recorded a 2.17 GAA and .921 save percentage.
Leighton -- a depth goalie for Hurricanes affiliate AHL Charlotte -- will undergo surgery as the result of an undisclosed injury that will keep him shelved for 4-to-6 weeks. As noted in this latest report, Leighton had been dominant in the minors this season, fashioning a 2.17 GAA over 23 games -- tied for fourth in the league. Tom McCollum was loaned from Calgary's system at the AHL trade deadline and will serve as the replacement.
Leighton was assigned to AHL Charlotte on Thursday. The 35-year-old has only played in four games this year, allowing 12 goals on 92 shots, so he hasn't been great in his limited action. He has a .918 save percentage and 2.32 GAA in the AHL though, so he has been solid in the minors, where he will likely stay unless the Hurricanes need goalie depth again.
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