Vancouver Canucks

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

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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

Canucks’ Hamhuis hopes to return prior to the all star break

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After tonight’s meeting with the Florida Panthers the Vancouver Canucks have five games prior to the NHL all-star break and defenseman Dan Hamhuis hopes to be ready to play in at least one of those games.

The 32-year-old has been out of the Canucks lineup since Nov. 20 due to a groin tear.

“It’s been feeling really good, been skating for a while now and finally made a step to skate with my teammates,” said Hamhuis per The Vancouver Province. “The goal is to play in a couple of games before the (start of the) All-Star break (Jan. 20). But it’s hard to say an exact game. I’ll practice with the team tomorrow, will be going on the road and hopefully get into one of the games there.”

Hamhuis, who will miss his 19th game tonight, says he’s benefitted from working with sport physiotherapist Rick Celebrini – hired by the Canucks this season.

“We’re really fortunate to have Rick Celebrini as part of the team,” said Hamhuis. “He does a lot of work with movement training and positioning the body to be in a safe position. It’s not going to be effective unless I can translate it from the gym to the ice.

“That’s where we brought (skating coach) Barb (Aidelbaum) in and (team skills coach) Glenn Carnegie as well.”

Hamhuis had six assists and a minus-5 rating while averaging over 20 minutes in ice time in 20 games prior to the injury.

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

Get your game notes: Bruins at Penguins

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Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the Pittsburgh Penguins hosting the Boston Bruins at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:

TOP STORYLINES

• Boston’s struggles: Since the start of December, Boston has won just 5 of 16 games (5-6-5).

• The B’s enter having dropped 4 of their last 5 games (1-1-3), including their last 3 – all in OT/SO.

• The Bruins (44 points) are 5th in the Atlantic Division, and trail TOR by 1 point for the 2nd Wild Card spot. On Tuesday, new Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs had critical remarks for the team’s performance this season: “I’d say without question this has been a very disappointing year. It’s unacceptable the way this team has performed given the amount of time, money and effort that’s been spent on this team. To see it deliver the way it has is unacceptable.”

• BOS is coming off a 2-1 (SO) loss at CAR on Sunday.

• Patrice Bergeron netted the lone goal for Boston.

• Tied 1-1 after 2 periods, the Bruins managed just 2 shots in the 3rd period, and finished with 20 in the game for their 3rd-lowest total of the season (BOS was outshot 36-20).

• BOS has not allowed more goals than it has scored in a season since 2007-08. That season, the Bruins qualified for the playoffs as the 8th seed in the East and lost in the Conference Quarterfinals.

• Pittsburgh also hitting a snag: The Pens have just 2 wins in their last 7 games (2-4-1)…

• PIT is coming off a 4-1 loss vs. MTL last Saturday.

• David Perron – acquired from EDM last Friday for Rob Klinkhammer and a 2015 1st round pick – scored the lone PIT goal in his Penguins debut.

• PIT (53 points) is tied in points with NYI for the Metropolitan Division lead (with one game in hand) – those two teams trail only TB and MTL in the Eastern Conference.

• The Pens have won their division each of the past 2 seasons

• Of key players, currently forwards Patric Hornqvist (lower-body), Blake Comeau (wrist), Pascal Dupuis (blood clots), and defensemen Olli Maatta (shoulder) and Paul Martin (undisclosed) are all on IR.

• Martin practiced on Tuesday and coach Mike Johnston said the trainers believe Martin is “really close” to returning. He hasn’t played since Dec. 18.

• The Penguins are 15-1-1 when scoring on the power play this season, but just 1-for-15 in their last 6 games with the man-advantage.

HEAD TO HEAD

• Nov. 24 at BOS: PIT def. BOS 3-2 (OT)

• Evgeni Malkin tied the game at 2 with a power-play goal midway through the 2nd period before scoring the OT-winner 32 seconds into the extra frame.

• Sidney Crosby had a goal and assisted on both of Malkin’s tallies.

• Milan Lucic and Joe Morrow scored 28 seconds apart early in the 2nd for BOS.

• This game was the 300th career victory for Pens goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, making him the 3rd-fastest and 3rd-youngest goalie to reach the milestone.

BOSTON TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• Patrice Bergeron leads the Bruins in assists (20) and points (28). He scored the lone Bruins goal in the loss to Carolina, and has 6 points (2G-4A) in his last 6 games.

• Bergeron: “We’re halfway in, and we’re not in the playoffs. It’s definitely unacceptable.”

• Loui Eriksson has played well of late, with 10 points (4G-6A) and a +6 rating in his last 9 games.

• Overall, Eriksson is 3rd on the team with 25 points (9G-16A).

• Career vs. PIT: Eriksson has 11 points (5G-6A) in 10 GP.

• Brad Marchand leads the Bruins in goals (11), and he is the only Bruin with 10+ goals this season.

• Vancouver (Radim Vrbata – 16 goals) and Buffalo (Zemgus Girgensons – 11) are the only other NHL teams that have just one 10+ goal scorer this season.

• Milan Lucic scored 24 goals in 80 games last season, but he has just 6 in 39 GP so far this season.

• Lucic is in the middle of an 8-game goal drought, and he has just 1 goal in his last 15 games.

• David Krejci will play in his 10th game since returning to the lineup following a month-long absence (groin).

• Krejci led the Bruins in scoring in October (9 points), and has 4 points (1G-3A) in his last 4 games.

• Zdeno Chara is also trying to find his stride since returning to the lineup last month from a knee injury that sidelined him for 19 games.

• Chara has 5 points (all assists) in the 12 games since returning, but is without a point in his last 4.

• Career vs. PIT: Chara has 16 goals vs. PIT – his most vs. any NHL opponent – along with 15 assists.

• Tuukka Rask has made 4 straight starts for Boston, getting at least 1 point in each (1-0-3). However, he has been the hard-luck loser in the past 3 games, dropping 2 in a shootout and one in overtime.

• The reigning Vezina Trophy winner stopped 35 of 36 shots in the SO loss to the Hurricanes on Sunday.

• Rask hadn’t allowed 1 or fewer goals in a game since Nov. 28 – a span of 13 games.

PITTSBURGH TEAM/PLAYER NOTES

• Evgeni Malkin is one of just 3 Pens to have played in all 39 games this season (Nick Spaling, Rob Scuderi).

• Malkin leads the team in goals (17 – T-9th in NHL) and is tied for the team lead in points with Sidney Crosby (43 – T-6th in NHL).

• Malkin leads the team in power play goals (8 – T-5th in NHL).

• Malkin has just 2 points in his last 5 games (1 goal, 1 assist in 6-3 win vs. TB last Friday).

• Career vs. BOS: Malkin has 28 points (13G-15A) in 24 GP.

• Sidney Crosby may be locating his scoring touch. He has 6 points (1G-5A) in his last 4 games, including a 4-assist game in the win over Tampa Bay.

• Crosby is tied with Malkin for the team lead in points (43 – T-6th in NHL).

• Career vs. BOS: Crosby has 38 points (11G-27A) in 26 GP.

• PIT acquired David Perron from EDM last Friday in exchange for Rob Klinkhammer and a 2015 1st round pick. The 8-year NHL veteran scored the lone Penguins goal in his debut last Saturday in the 4-1 loss to MTL.

• In 38 games with EDM this season, Perron had 19 points (5G-14A).

• Last season, Perron had a career-high 28 goals and 57 points.

• Perron was a 2007 1st round pick (26th overall) by STL.

• In Patric Hornqvist and Pascal Dupuis absences, Steve Downie has benefitted from playing alongside Sidney Crosby on the top line.

• Downie has as many points (10) in his last 8 games as he did in his previous 26 to start the season:

• Marc-Andre Fleury only has 1 win in his last 6 starts (1-3-1, 3.16 GAA, .898 SV%), but the 30-year-old is still having his best season statistically as a pro.

• His 6 shutouts through 31 games lead the NHL, and are already his career-best for a season. His 2.18 GAA and .926 SV% this season would be his best season averages in his 11-season career (current bests: 2.32 GAA in 2010-11, .921 SV% in 2007-08).

• Career vs. BOS: Fleury is 12-6-3 with a 2.30 GAA and .922 SV%.