Officially back in a Florida Panthers uniform for the first time since April 18, 2006, Roberto Luongo recorded the shutout over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.
Luongo, the star 34-year-old goalie who was dealt from the Vancouver Canucks to the Panthers the day before the trade deadline, made 25 saves and the Panthers scored twice on eight power play opportunities for a 2-0 win over the Sabres.
Not helping matters for the Sabres was the fact Marcus Foligno was ejected less than seven minutes into the game, after receiving a boarding major for a hit on Brandon Pirri.
Luongo was making his first NHL start since Feb. 8. That’s in part because of the Olympic break – he started once for Team Canada in the preliminary round – also because Vancouver’s head coach John Tortorella decided not to start Luongo for Sunday’s Heritage Classic at BC Place Stadium.
His agent, Pat Brisson, made it clear later this week that the decision to bench Luongo for the big spectacle – the finale in the NHL Stadium Series – helped expedite the process of a trade.