Author: James O'Brien

Roberto Luongo

Bernier bests Panthers as Luongo goes from injured (and in street clothes) to back in net


It’s oddly fitting that a goalie shined the brightest in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 3-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, as netminders provided tons of drama.

Jonathan Bernier was absolutely brilliant in making 40 saves and ended Toronto’s 16-game road winless streak, but most eyes were on Roberto Luongo, Al Montoya and … Robb Tallas.

It started out with Luongo, who was hurt by a first period shot. Montoya then got hurt himself during the third period, yet with Florida in a huge bind, the backup goalie did his best to tough things out (eventually giving up the game-deciding goal as he could barely move properly).

All eyes were on the Panthers bench and walkway, as goalie coach Tallas warmed up in an emergency capacity. It only got weirder when Luongo was seen discussing the situation with Panthers GM Dale Tallon and other staffers in street clothes before coming back out in his gear to finish the game.

Luongo stopped all 19 of the shots he faced, suffer what seemed like a shoulder injury, and ended the night with a non-decision.

It was an absolutely surreal situation, yet it could have serious playoff implications if Luongo and/or Montoya are significantly hurt.

On the bright side for Florida, they do have an experienced goalie waiting in the wings in Dan Ellis. In less savory news, their goalies weren’t the only players to get banged up, as Nick Bjugstad was shaken up when he took a puck up high.

Yeah, not a great night for the Panthers, so they probably won’t get much of a kick out of these bits of information about Tallas:

Greedy folks wanted to see Jaromir Jagr in net, yet it felt like slack-jawed observers witnessed everything else in this one.

Lightning stroll past Sabres as Vasilevskiy gets first NHL shutout

Andrei Vasilevskiy, Dwight King

The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 on Tuesday as Andrei Vasilevskiy recorded his first NHL shutout in a surprise start (or was it?).

While he was protected for much of the game, the Sabres did make him sweat with a few tough first-period saves. Vasilevskiy made some wonderful stops and ultimately made all 28 saves.

The game-winner ended up going to Steve Stamkos:

After that, the Lightning put the game out of reach with two second-period power-play tallies:

During the game, Pierre McGuire mentioned that the Lightning are a little concerned about “playing to the level of their opponents.” This effort may not put all of those fears to rest, yet at the same time, the Bolts began a homestand with a clean win.

Introduce yourself: Coburn fights in Lightning debut

Braydon Coburn

There are plenty of ways to endear yourself to new teammates. Some players buy dinner. Others might score a goal.

Braydon Coburn was acquired by the Tampa Bay Lightning to beef up their defense, likely by doing the dirty work. Getting in fights might not be at the top of that list of tasks, but he did so with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno on Tuesday:

Update: Tampa Bay easily won 3-0.