Roberto Luongo

Goalie nods: Talbot goes for Rangers in Cup Final rematch vs. L.A.

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All the latest from the blue paint…

Cam gets Kings

After Henrik Lundqvist beat Anaheim last night, the Rangers will give Cam Talbot the start this evening when they take on the Kings for the first time since last year’s Stanley Cup Final.

Talbot, who’s emerged as one of the league’s better backups over the last season-and-a-half, last played on Dec. 21 against Carolina, stopping all 18 shots faced for his third shutout of the season. The 27-year-old is 3-3-1 on the year with a 2.02 GAA and .928 save percentage, and has just one loss in his last four outings.

No official word yet on who’ll start for the Kings, though Jonathan Quick was the first goalie off the ice at today’s morning skate.

Elsewhere…

Devils at Bruins: Cory Schneider for New Jersey, no word yet on a Boston starter.

Caps at Flyers: Steve Mason for Philly, no word yet on a Washington starter.

Sabres at ‘Canes: Jhonas Enroth vs. Cam Ward

Blackhawks at Wild: Corey Crawford vs. Niklas Backstrom

Stars at Preds: Kari Lehtonen likely for Dallas, Pekka Rinne likely for Nashville.

Sharks at Blues: Antti Niemi vs. Brian Elliott

Sens at Avs: Craig Anderson vs. Semyon Varlamov

Jets at Coyotes: Ondrej Pavelec vs. Mike Smith

Panthers at Canucks: Roberto Luongo vs. Ryan Miller

Luongo to former Canucks GM: No hard feelings

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If there’s one phrase to describe Roberto Luongo’s thoughts on returning to Vancouver as a member of the Florida Panthers tonight, it would seemingly be “well-adjusted.”

That seemed clear here, and carried over to this interview with Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy, as Luongo admitted that his first trip back to actually start against the Canucks on the road is a pretty big deal.

A few takeaways?

  • It’s more about interacting with Canucks fans again, rather than beating his former team. He said that he looks back at his time in Vancouver as one in which the good heavily outweighed the bad.
  • The 35-year-old really appreciates that, timing wise, he’s been able to spend a good chunk of time in Vancouver (thanks to the way Florida’s schedule worked out).
  • While he hasn’t actually spoken to former Canucks GM Mike Gillis, he doesn’t have hard feelings. It seems like Luongo believes that Gillis did his best.

Could some of this be Luongo softening the message for the media? Perhaps. Maybe it also has something to do with time healing wounds.

Either way, it should be really interesting to see how Luongo performs and reacts to a game in front of that Vancouver crowd (and vice versa).

He’s not giving them many reasons to jeer him, if nothing else.

(Video) Luongo: ‘I’d probably maybe still be here’

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Roberto Luongo will make his return to Vancouver on Thursday when the Florida Panthers visit the Canucks.

With the team already in town, the 35-year-old met the Vancouver media for the first time since his March 2014 trade on Tuesday.

Luongo, who spent eight seasons in Vancouver admitted he’d likely be in a Canucks jersey if he’d started last season’s Heritage Classic.

“There’s no hiding it. I did want to play that game. That goes without saying,” said Luongo. “If I would’ve played, I’d probably maybe still be here. Who knows? I don’t know. I don’t like to use the term disrespected, especially after what I’ve been through over the last few years. I feel like whatever hand you’re dealt, you have to deal with it as best you can.”

As for his biggest disappointment, Luongo pointed to the 2011 Stanley Cup final where the Canucks came a win shy of capturing it all.

“I’m just disappointed I wasn’t able to bring a cup here,” he said. “This market wants one more than anything. If anything, that’s the main thing I’m disappointed about.”

Luongo was dealt to the Panthers on March 4, 2014 in a trade which saw the Canucks land goaltender Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias.

In 448 regular season games with the Canucks, Luongo was 252-137-50 to go along with a 2.36 G.A.A. and a .919 save percentage.

Goalie nods: Lack to face Isles for first time since The Meltdown

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All the latest from the crease…

Eddie gets his shot at revenge

Remember the last time the Canucks faced the Islanders? If you don’t, a quick refresher:

Seven goals by seven different Islanders in the third period, erasing a 3-0 Vancouver lead while setting the following marks:

• Tied an NHL record for goals in a road period
• Set a club record for goals in a road period
• Tied a club record for goals in a period (7 vs NYR on 12/23/78)
• Tied a Canucks record for goals allowed in a period
• Set a club record for points in a road period, with 19 points in the 3rd
• Tied a club record for power play goals in a period, with three in the 3rd

On the hook for six of those seven goals? Canucks netminder Eddie Lack, who finished with just 21 saves on 27 shots.

“The guys played well enough in front of me,” Lack said, per the Vancouver Sun. “I think I have to make two or three saves there and I take responsibility for this loss.”

Tonight, the Isles are back in Vancouver and Lack will get the start, his first since Dec. 17. It promises to be a very interesting affair; Lack’s been tremendous over his last five appearances (eight goals on 134 shots, a .940 save percentage) but the Isles are coming in off a disappointing loss in Edmonton, and probably remember last year’s game quite well.

It’s also worth noting that, with Lack getting the start tonight, it’ll likely be Ryan Miller in goal for the Canucks tomorrow when the Florida Panthers are in town — which is projected to be Roberto Luongo’s first game back in Vancouver since last year’s trade.

No word yet on who the Isles will start in goal tonight.

Elsewhere…

Sabres at Devils: Jhonas Enroth vs. Cory Schneider

Sens at Flyers: Craig Anderson vs. Steve Mason

Bolts at Habs: Ben Bishop vs. Carey Price

‘Canes at Preds: Cam Ward for Carolina, Pekka Rinne likely for Nashville.

Sharks at Wild: Darcy Kuemper for Minnesota, no word yet on a San Jose starter.

Blue Jackets at Stars: Sergei Bobrovsky for Columbus, Anders Lindback likely for Dallas.

Avs at ‘Hawks: Semyon Varlamov vs. Corey Crawford

Blues at Coyotes: Brian Elliott vs. Mike Smith

Wings at Oilers: Jimmy Howard vs. Viktor Fasth

Luongo says he’s fine after collision with Ovechkin (Update)

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The Florida Panthers have been frisky this season, and Roberto Luongo’s been a big part of that. Hopefully he didn’t get hurt too badly on Sunday, then.

Luongo initially shook off a significant collision with Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin late in the first period, but he didn’t return to action in the final frame. It looks like Al Montoya will take over for the remainder of the contest while an update may come sometime after the game’s over, according to the Miami Herald’s George Richards.

About the best news is that he returned to the bench midway through the third period.

Update: Luongo, 35, said that he’s fine and just left the game for precautionary reasons, Richards reports.

There was no penalty on the play as Ovechkin collided with Luongo, who was trying to stop a chance in bold Dominik Hasek-like fashion.

Here’s video of the collision: