Goalie nods: Panthers turn to Luongo for the first time this week

Associated Press

Roberto Luongo has been fortunate enough to enjoy a bit of rest in the last week.

Luongo, who hasn’t played since last Saturday, will be back between the pipes for tonight’s game against the Winnipeg Jets.

Backup goalie Al Montoya was solid in a 2-1 shootout win over the Penguins on Monday, and head coach Gerard Gallant decided to go back to him against San Jose on Thursday (the Panthers lost 2-1 in a shootout).

It wasn’t a bad idea for Gallant to have Luongo watch from the bench, as the veteran had been struggling.

Luongo allowed three goals or more in five consecutive appearances, including five goals in an ugly loss to Nashville on Saturday.

“I didn’t have a lot of time to work on my game since the start of the season,” Luongo said on Friday, via The Miami Herald. “Having four or five good practices this week…I feel really good today out there, so I’m ready for tomorrow.

“The schedule is so busy during the season and you play so many games that practice time is limited…A week like this was good for me.”

The Jets will turn to Michael Hutchinson.

Elsewhere…

–Expect Steve Mason to get the start in Saturday’s game against the Leafs. Jonathan Bernier will start for Toronto.

Petr Mrazek will be between the pipes for the Red Wings. He was pulled after allowing five goals to the Penguins on Thursday. The Sens will go with Craig Anderson.

–After dropping a 1-0 decision to the Islanders last night, the Devils have yet to name a starter. The Capitals will go with Braden Holtby.

–The Kings and Predators have yet to confirm their goaltenders, but don’t be surprised if it’s Jonathan Quick against Pekka Rinne.

Tuukka Rask is expected to get the start against the Stars. Dallas will likely turn to Kari Lehtonen in this one.

Brian Elliott will make his 18th consecutive appearance for the Blues. Louis Domingue will be in goal for the ‘Yotes.

Calvin Pickard will be between the pipes for Colorado. Cam Talbot will get the start for the Oilers.

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