Roberto Luongo’s 400th career win will have to wait another day.
In his 32nd career game against his hometown team, Luongo stopped 22 shots and gave the Panthers a good chance to come away with the two points, highlighted by a late third-period save on pesky Montreal Canadiens winger Brendan Gallagher.
“Lu is great in all areas,” Brian Campbell said. “Obviously a highlight-reel save from him. He’s there to protect us, save us, and he definitely gave us a chance.”
When he gets the win, he’ll tie Chris Osgood for 10th all-time among NHL goaltenders.
The stage was set for a memorable milestone moment. With wins in three of his last four outings, Luongo entered the night sitting on 399 career wins with a date against the Canadiens on tap. On top of that, the Panthers are one of the rare teams that have enjoyed repeated success on Montreal soil.
“Lu’s not going to have any problem not only getting his 400th but beyond,” Campbell said. “After the game, a player might look at it and say that’s great, but I don’t think it’s something Lu’s thinking about during the day and during the game.”
Having a goaltender who can make the saves is key for any team, but for the up-and-coming Panthers, that experience and calmness in goal is key as they push for the playoffs.
“Outstanding,” head coach Gerard Gallant said of his goaltender’s performance. “He gives us a chance to win every night when he plays. He was real good [Saturday night].”
Luongo won’t have to wait long for another chance at history, though, with a tilt against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday evening.
Asked if Luongo will get the nod again in the back-to-back, Gallant grinned in his response.
“I’m sure he will,” he said.