Luongo injures groin (Updated: Might not be groin), Schneider expected to face ‘Hawks

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Today, Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo missed his second straight practice after tweaking his groin (depending on who you talk to — the club is calling it an upper-body injury) in Sunday’s a 4-1 win over the Islanders. This is worth noting as Luongo rarely misses practice — in fact, skipping yesterday’s optional skate was newsworthy in itself. (He usually participates in optional skates.)

Luongo suffered the injury cutting across his crease to stop a Mark Streit shot.

While highlight-reel in nature —

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttUYcbjShX0]

— the save proved costly.

The Vancouver Province is reporting that backup Cory Schneider is “expected” to get the start in Wednesday’s affair, which just so happens to be against Vancouver’s chief rival, the Chicago Blackhawks.

The ‘Hawks haven’t been to Rogers Arena since losing Game 7 of the Western Conference quarterfinal last year in dramatic fashion. That, teamed with the 6-2 whipping Vancouver laid on them last Sunday, should provide plenty of fuel for revenge.

But the latest installment of Canucks vs. Blackhawks will likely be missing Luongo, one of the rivalry’s central figures. If that’s the case, goaltending duties will fall to Schneider — which is a less compelling subplot, though not entirely uninteresting. The last time Schneider faced the Blackhawks was in Game 6 of last year’s playoff series, when he got a surprise start in Chicago ahead of the beleaguered Luongo. Schneider stopped 12 of 15 shots before leaving the game with leg cramps, paving the way for Luongo to re-enter the game (and lose in overtime.)