Roberto Luongo

Goalie nods: Kinkaid, Montoya give starters a break

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Kinkaid gets second start in five games

The New Jersey Devils will lighten Cory Schneider’s load a bit, as rookie netminder Keith Kinkaid gets another start this evening at home against the Isles.

Schneider, who played nearly every game through the first two months of the season, faced 42 shots last night in a 3-0 loss to Boston, hence Kinkaid’s start tonight. But there is reason to suggest Kinkaid also got this assignment on merit; he’s been pretty good this season, posting a 2.01 GAA and .928 save percentage while earning at least a point in three of his last five starts.

For the Islanders, Jaroslav Halak will be in goal.

Al faces Flames

After last night’s emotional win in Vancouver, Roberto Luongo will be given the night off and Al Montoya will face Calgary at the Saddledome.

Montoya, in his first year with the Panthers, last played on Sunday in relief of Luongo during a 4-3 loss to the Capitals (Luongo exited the game after getting bowled over by Alex Ovechkin.) Montoya’s last start, though, came in a loss to the Rangers in which he allowed five goals on 34 shots.

The 29-year-old is 2-4-2 for Florida this season, with a 2.61 GAA and .904 save percentage.

For the Flames, Jonas Hiller will be in goal.


Jackets at Leafs: Sergei Bobrovsky vs. Jonathan Bernier

Sabres at Bolts: Michal Neuvirth vs. Ben Bishop

‘Hawks at Oilers: Ben Scrivens for Edmonton, no word yet on a Chicago starter.

Luongo, Huberdeau lead Panthers over Canucks

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Roberto Luongo made 32 saves and Jonathan Huberdeau had two goals and an assist as the Florida Panthers defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-1 Thursday night.

With the win, Luongo has now beaten all 30 teams in the league.

The 35-year-old, who spent eight seasons in Vancouver, was honored with a video tribute during the first period.

Huberdeau tied the game 1-1 with his fifth of the season at 9:33 of the first. Then after Aleksander Barkov had given the Panthers a 2-1 lead, Huberdeau netted the insurance marker at 16:43 of the second.

Daniel Sedin was the lone Canuck to beat his former teammate. Ryan Miller made 27 saves in the loss.

Florida has now won two of three on its’ six-game road trip, which continues Friday in Calgary.

Video: Canucks pay tribute to Roberto Luongo


Roberto Luongo is making his first start in Vancouver tonight since his March 2014 trade to the Florida Panthers.

During a break in play in the first period the Canucks paid tribute to Luongo, who spent eight seasons in Vancouver.

Related: Expect a lengthy ovation for Luongo tonight in Vancouver

Expect a lengthy ovation for Luongo tonight in Vancouver


Watching his press conference Tuesday at Rogers Arena, it was hard to believe what they used to call Roberto Luongo.

Cocky. Arrogant. Entitled. Overly sensitive. Glib. Moody.

None of those words came to mind as he chatted amiably with reporters ahead of Thursday’s game between his current team, the Florida Panthers, and his old one, the Canucks.

He was asked if he was ever misunderstood during his time in Vancouver.

“I think earlier in my stay here, but that was a bit of my own fault as well,” he said. “The way I would handle certain things, whether it’s with the media or the fans.

“I kind of figured that whole thing out towards the end of my stay here. It’s kind of a shame that that’s the way it happened. Sometimes you have to go through some adversity to realize and understand and do the right things.

“My whole perspective on a lot of stuff has changed over the last couple of years, the way I handle things. I just try to have as much fun as I can out there, realizing that I’m 35 now, so I just want to have fun playing the game and play hard and do the best that I can.”

Twitter has helped Luongo immensely, providing a medium to show off a self-deprecating sense of humor that never came through, or maybe he hadn’t developed yet, before.

Not that he didn’t try to be funny. Except more often than not, his attempts at humor would fall flat. His delivery in front of the cameras would just be a touch…off. People wouldn’t laugh; they’d bristle.

As they say, good comedy is all in the delivery.

Consider: Luongo said his biggest regret with the Canucks was never winning a Stanley Cup. In the four losses to Boston in the 2011 final, he allowed 20 goals. For that, combined with a couple of imprudent remarks he directed towards Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, he was mocked and vilified. At the time, for him, and for Vancouver hockey fans, there was nothing funny about it.

Yet fast forward a few years and this is the kind of thing he’s tweeting:

And the fans, by and large, have loved him for it.

To retell Luongo’s entire story in Vancouver would require multiple volumes, kind of like how Tolstoy broke up War and Peace. No other athlete in the city’s history — not Pavel Bure, not Todd Bertuzzi — has stirred so much debate. They still debate him today. They will for a while.

Tonight, the Canucks will honor Luongo with a video tribute. A lengthy ovation will follow. That, you can be sure of.

“I think it’s going to be emotional,” he said yesterday. “I’m flattered they’d do that. I told (the organization) it wasn’t necessary but I’m happy there’s some sort of recognition.

“I think it’s good for both sides.”

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


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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.


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