Roberto Luongo shuts out Rangers as Panthers win eighth straight

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The Florida Panthers got some work done off the ice Saturday, announcing head coach Gerard Gallant had signed a contract extension.

A few hours later, they took care of business on the ice.

The Panthers are red hot right now. They’ve won eight in a row. On Saturday, they shut out the New York Rangers by a final score of 3-0 before an announced sold out crowd of 20,289 fans.

And they regain top spot in the Atlantic Division.

Goaltending has been key to the Panthers’ success.

Roberto Luongo, at 36 years old, is giving the Panthers superb goaltending. He made 40 saves versus the Rangers, while his team manufactured only 20 shots on goal against Henrik Lundqvist.

Twice during this streak, Luongo has recorded a shut out, and has allowed only nine goals in his last seven starts.

Even at his age, he continues to put up very good numbers — a .929 save percentage, which is seventh best in the league, and a 2.09 goals-against average, which is also seventh.

Even more impressive is the fact Luongo remains one of the busiest puck stoppers, facing the fourth most shots (916 after Saturday’s game) among NHL goalies.