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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 2, Sabres 0

Luongo turns aside all 25 shots to pitch shut out in return to Panthers.

Friday, 03.7.2014 / 11:08 PM ET / Wrap Up
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Panthers Wrap-Up: Panthers 2, Sabres 0
Fri
3/7/2014
2-0
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 0 1 0 2
Sabres 0 0 0 0 0
FLA - PP - J. Winchester (9), PP - D. Kulikov (7)
BUF - NONE
  
   

SUNRISE —  (NHL.com) - The script couldn't have been written any better for Roberto Luongo's return to the Florida Panthers.

In his first start since being traded from the Vancouver Canucks back to the Panthers, Luongo made 25 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and Florida beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 at BB&T Center on Friday night.

FULL RECAP
 
"It was nice, a great reception from the start and I thought the boys played extremely well...We're a really fast team. I was impressed by the speed that we generated. The future is very promising."

- Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo.
 
1. Lu's Return: Leading up to the game all eyes were on #1 between the pipes and rightfully so. In his first game back for the Panthers, Roberto Luongo certainly had a return to remember. While he wasn't as tested as his counterpart Michal Neuvirth, Luongo came up with the saves when he needed to as he turned aside all 25 Buffalo shots for his 66th career shutout and 27th in a Panthers uniform. It took 63 games for Florida to register their first shutout of the season and it came in Luongo's first game back. His biggest save came with 4:42 remaining in the second and the Cats holding on to a 1-0 lead. Tyler Ennis found himself all alone in front of the net and the rebound came onto his stick. With the Cats netminder down, he made a huge right pad save to keep the Sabres off the board.

2. Powered Up: Buffalo certainly helped along the way (see Marcus Foligno's five minute boarding call) but Florida definetly drew some penalties on their way to eight power plays on the night. And that's where they did their damage as Jesse Winchester and Dmitry Kulikov scored the only goals the Panthers would need in the 2-0 victory. Winchester's was a sweet redirect on a pass from Scottie Upshall with five seconds remaining on Foligno's major in the first and then Kulikov let a bomb go 4:04 into the third. Rookie Vincent Trocheck, making his NHL debut, was instrumental in drawing two power plays on the night.

3. Team Win: Yes the night was about Louie but during his post-game comments the netminder deflected credit to his teammates. Florida held play in the Sabres end for the majority of the night as evidence by the 44-25 shot disparity. Neuvirth was under fire all night from the likes of Sean Bergenheim who put up a whopping 12 shots as well as Tomas Fleischmann and Brandon Pirri who recorded five shots a piece. The defense cleared out a lot of rebounds limiting the second chances and the penalty kill killed off both Sabres power plays. Not too bad of a Friday night for the entire Cats team.
 
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@ClineMJ: @FlaPanthers it's the start of a new era. In Viola We Trust. #RedRising

StacyAlbano: @FlaPanthers @strombone1 is home where he belongs!

@BrianPattyDoran: Luongo with the shutout. Great game with this new lineup. #Flapanthers @FlaPanthers

 
Memorable fan posts from the game.

Steve Levine: Awesome, excited to be a Panthers fan. He is a world class goalie who needed a new environment

Tyler Boross: This is the team that we need every game.

Robbie Potesta: how many vancouver fans got the florida app today? I take it more than a few
 


0. What a return for Roberto Luongo who pitched the shutout in stopping all 25 shots.

1. Playing in his first NHL game, 20-year old Vincent Trocheck had a great first 60 minutes, recording three shots on 17:35 of ice time. That total was the fifth highest among forwards.

2. The power play was all the Cats needed as they combined to go two-of-eight on the man advantage.

12. Forward Sean Bergenheim, who played a game high 24:42 also led by a large margin in the shot department with 12. The next closest skater was seven away (on either side).

65. Center Nick Bjugstad was once again strong in the face-off circle while pulling first line duties as he won 65% of his draws (15-of-23).

 
Roberto Luongo
As if it could be anyone else. The guy only pitched a shutout in his return to the team.

25 Shots, 25 Saves, 1.000 SV%
 
 
Florida returns to the ice on Sunday when they look to win their first game of the season series against the Boston Bruins. It will be the final meeting between the two Atlantic Division foes with the Bruins winning the latest game 4-1 in Boston on Sunday. The Bruins are in Tampa Bay Saturday night before heading down to South Florida. They sit eight points clear of second place Montreal in the Atlantic Division. David Krejci, who netted a hat trick in the last game against the Cats, leads the way with 55 points (16-39-55) while Tuukka Rask owns a 2.13 GAA, .928 SV% and 27-14-4 record.

Author: Glenn Odebralski | FloridaPanthers.com

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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