Goalie nods: Luongo good to go, Crawford shelved


All the latest from the blue paint…

Luongo’s likely back

Roberto Luongo looks to be the starter Florida tonight — his first start since getting hurt against Carolina last Wednesday — when the Panthers take on Detroit at the Joe.

Al Montoya played the last two games in relief — including Monday’s 2-1 loss to Columbus — but will cede to the veteran Luongo this evening; Bobby Lu is having himself a pretty solid season for the Cats, going 7-5-5 with a 2.33 GAA and .927 save percentage.

For the Red Wings, Jimmy Howard will get the call in goal.

Crawford sidelined by injury

Not a nod for tonight, but some goalie-related news to pass along — on Tuesday, the ‘Hawks announced that Corey Crawford will be out for Wednesday’s Rivalry Night game against the Blues with a lower-body ailment.

“He’s being evaluated right now, so we’ll know more [Wednesday,]” head coach Joel Quenneville said after the team’s practice, per ESPN Chicago.

The development means little-used backup Antti Raanta will make his first start for Chicago since Oct. 25. Raanta is 1-2-0 with a 2.03 goals-against average and .933 save percentage this season, and did get a mid-November game while on assignment with AHL Rockford.


Sens at Isles: Craig Anderson vs. Jaroslav Halak

Devils at Penguins: Cory Schneider for New Jersey, Marc-Andre Fleury likely for Pittsburgh.

Canucks at Caps: Ryan Miller vs. Braden Holtby

Preds at ‘Canes: Pekka Rinne vs. Cam Ward

Stars at Leafs: Kari Lehtonen vs. Jonathan Bernier

Bolts at Sabres: Evgeni Nabokov vs. Jhonas Enroth

Coyotes at Flames: Karri Ramo vs. Mike Smith.

Flyers at Sharks: Steve Mason vs. Antti Niemi

Bruins at Kings: Jonathan Quick likely for L.A., no word yet on a Boston starter.

It went dark at The Joe again this morning


The lights went out again this morning at Joe Louis Arena, as what’s being called a “widespread power outage” hit Detroit.

As a result, the morning skates ahead of tonight’s game between the Red Wings and Panthers were canceled.

While the lack of light didn’t stop Florida goalie Roberto Luongo from hitting the ice…

…this was the second such incident in a short time at the rink, after Sunday’s afternoon game between the Wings and Canucks was delayed by a power outage.

It’s not clear if the two incidents are related. Today’s outage appears more extensive, with DTE Energy spokesman telling the Detroit News, “it looks like the entire Detroit Public Lighting system is down. Affecting about 100 buildings, places like The Joe, Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, fire stations, schools. We were notified about 10:30 a.m. We’re working with them to help resolve the situation. We’ll help investigate the problem and make repairs. It’s too early yet to determine what has caused the shutdown.”

Panthers assign Ellis, Luongo ready to go


Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo appears recovered from his upper body injury as Florida assigned goaltender Dan Ellis to its’ American Hockey League affiliate in San Antonio on Sunday.

Luongo was injured midway through the Panthers 1-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night.

The 35-year-old appeared to injure his left shoulder as he stretched out to rob Hurricanes forward Viktor Rask of a sure goal.

In 17 games this season Luongo is 7-5-5 with a 2.33 GAA and a .927 save percentage.

Ellis was recalled to backup Al Montoya in Friday’s win over the Ottawa Senators.

In 12 AHL games this season Ellis is 8-4-0 with a .918 save percentage and a 2.13 goals-against average.

Florida visits Columbus and Detroit on Monday and Tuesday. Luongo is expected to be ready to start one of those two games.

Miller’s second straight shutout puts Canucks in NHL lead


The Vancouver Canucks didn’t sound like a team that just secured a 5-0 victory over Columbus to claim to a NHL-leading 16-6-1 record.

“We scored timely goals, but there wasn’t much to be happy about out there,” Chris Higgins, who scored the winning goal, noted per the team’s Twitter account. “It could have went their way tonight.”

“This wasn’t a good game, but (goaltender Ryan Miller) was good and he helped us win this one,” Alex Burrows added.

There’s no question that Miller was the hero tonight for Vancouver. He turned aside all 30 Blue Jackets shots he faced to earn his second consecutive shutout. His decision to sign with Vancouver over the summer made the franchise look good for trading away talented netminders Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo in separate deals because even after all of that, the Canucks still have strong goaltending.

The Canucks have offensive depth too, which was on display tonight as five different players found the back of the net (Higgins, Henrik Sedin, Shawn Matthias, Brad Richardson, Burrows). Nick Bonino assisted on three of those markers to give him 19 points in 23 contests.

Even if this wasn’t the blowout that the final score suggests and even if the Canucks weren’t in the mood to pat their own backs after this one, the fact remains that they are the league leaders, which is a remarkable turn of events after they missed the playoffs entirely in 2013-14.

With Luongo hurt, Panthers recall Ellis

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The injury that forced Roberto Luongo from last night’s 1-0 win over Carolina doesn’t sound serious, but it is significant enough that Florida recalled Dan Ellis from AHL San Antonio on Thursday.

Luongo exited Wednesday’s contest 10:22 into the second period after stopping all 11 of the shots he faced. It didn’t look as though he injured himself on a specific play and, today, details were few about what the ailment might be. (Earlier speculation suggested a shoulder injury; club is saying upper-body.)

Al Montoya came in to relieve Luongo against the ‘Canes and was stellar, stopping all 22 shots.

As for Ellis, the 34-year-old veteran will head back to the bigs after a fairly solid stint with the Rampage. He’s 8-4-0 on the year with a .918 save percentage and 2.13 GAA, but has yet to play in the NHL this season after losing the backup gig to Montoya during training camp. Ellis will back up Montoya for Friday’s game against Ottawa, head coach Gerard Gallant confirmed.

Luongo has been one of the NHL’s busiest workhorses this year, having played in 17 of Florida’s 20 games. To make room for Ellis on the active roster, Florida put Scottie Upshall (ankle) on IR.