The All-Star who Ducks coach Randy Carlyle still refers to as "our No. 1 goaltender" doesn't believe he can perform at his best. The goalie who has made a remarkable comeback from a serious injury is now hurt again.

And the goaltender who seemed to be the third option might be drawing the starting assignment Wednesday night for Game 1 of the NHL's Western Conference quarterfinals — against his former team.

If you ask Carlyle, he will tell you that he has three options in Jonas Hiller, Ray Emery and Dan Ellis. But it appears the healthy Ellis is the likely option against the Nashville Predators with Hiller and Emery ailing.

"You go with the hot hand. Dan has been very strong in the nets for us. He's been a great guy as far as his work ethic and hasn't wavered in is support of his teammates," Carlyle said.

Ellis presented strong cases on consecutive nights against the Kings to end the regular season as he stopped 23 shots in a 2-1 victory that clinched the Ducks' playoff spot and followed up with 43 saves on Saturday in a 3-1 victory.

Ellis said the appeal of facing the team with which he spent his first three full seasons is diminished because he already has played against them twice.

"Playoffs are playoffs," Ellis said. "It really doesn't matter who your opponent is. You're ready to go against anyone."

Meanwhile, Emery is nursing a lower-body injury he suffered last week against San Jose and didn't sound like he was on pace for a quick return.