Bernier bests Panthers as Luongo goes from injured (and in street clothes) to back in net

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It’s oddly fitting that a goalie shined the brightest in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 3-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, as netminders provided tons of drama.

Jonathan Bernier was absolutely brilliant in making 40 saves and ended Toronto’s 16-game road winless streak, but most eyes were on Roberto Luongo, Al Montoya and … Robb Tallas.

It started out with Luongo, who was hurt by a first period shot. Montoya then got hurt himself during the third period, yet with Florida in a huge bind, the backup goalie did his best to tough things out (eventually giving up the game-deciding goal as he could barely move properly).

All eyes were on the Panthers bench and walkway, as goalie coach Tallas warmed up in an emergency capacity. It only got weirder when Luongo was seen discussing the situation with Panthers GM Dale Tallon and other staffers in street clothes before coming back out in his gear to finish the game.

Luongo stopped all 19 of the shots he faced, suffer what seemed like a shoulder injury, and ended the night with a non-decision.

It was an absolutely surreal situation, yet it could have serious playoff implications if Luongo and/or Montoya are significantly hurt.

On the bright side for Florida, they do have an experienced goalie waiting in the wings in Dan Ellis. In less savory news, their goalies weren’t the only players to get banged up, as Nick Bjugstad was shaken up when he took a puck up high.

Yeah, not a great night for the Panthers, so they probably won’t get much of a kick out of these bits of information about Tallas:

Greedy folks wanted to see Jaromir Jagr in net, yet it felt like slack-jawed observers witnessed everything else in this one.