After letting the anticipation build up since the trade that brought Roberto Luongo back to the Florida Panthers, it is very possible a storybook couldn’t have written his debut better.
The struggling team, fighting for respect after falling to the basement of the Eastern Conference standings makes a bold move in acquiring the veteran goaltender Luongo and in his first game the team plays a flawless 60-minutes to that goaltender extending his franchise record shutout streak that he already held.
With the team playing great defense in front of him, most of his 25-shots were of the routine variety but when he was called upon – especially the last minute where the Panthers had to kill off a 6-on-4 – Luongo proved every bit of his worth.
The shutout was Luongo’s 27th as a Panther and 66th career. The last time registered a shutout as a Panther was February 7, 2006 – a 44-save performance against the Washington Capitals.
Despite one of the worst power plays in recent history, and an offense that is at the bottom in just about every category and won’t likely have a play break the 40-point mark – having Luongo in the cage means that they will be in every game they play in.
Luongo and the Panthers will look to build off of their dominant performance and get some revenge against the Boston Bruins – who beat them 4-1 on Tuesday.
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