Florida Panthers win first playoff series since 1996

Saturday, May 14, 2022
author picture Liam Lambert
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Original content created by news.limited staff

Florida Panthers Win First Postseason Series Since 1996

After a long‚ frustrating season‚ the Florida Panthers have finally broken through in the playoffs. For years‚ they were mediocre‚ not even contenders‚ but over the past two seasons‚ they have become one of the top teams in the NHL. Their most recent upset‚ against the Tampa Bay Lightning‚ came a few years after winning the Presidents' Trophy. The Florida Panthers have the weekend off before learning their next opponent‚ likely the Toronto Maple Leafs‚ in the second round. Regardless of the opponent‚ they will most likely be favorites again come Round 2.

Roberto Luongo becomes third goaltender in NHL history to reach 1‚000 games

Since being drafted by the Islanders in 1997‚ Roberto Luongo has been one of the top goaltenders in the league. He owns the third-most wins in NHL history and ranks ninth on the all-time shutout leaderboard. In addition to his record-breaking numbers‚ Luongo leads the NHL in almost every goalie stat. The Panthers traded him to Vancouver in 2006‚ and he has been a member of their lineup ever since. After playing a game Thursday night against the Boston Bruins‚ Roberto Luongo has reached 1‚000 career games. Only Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy have played more games. Luongo has a 470-376-119 record in 999 games. His lighthearted approach to the game has allowed him to reach this milestone. While a few of the other Hall-of-Fame goaltenders have accomplished this feat earlier in their careers‚ Luongo has surpassed their mark and joined them. Before joining the Panthers‚ Luongo had a long career with the Vancouver Canucks. He won a total of 252 games in Vancouver‚ and his 200th with the Panthers comes a year later. In addition to this milestone‚ Luongo had many notable accomplishments both on and off the ice. In 2008‚ he won the Cup with the Canucks‚ and his three-peat against the Kings helped the team advance to the Stanley Cup Final. Besides his stellar record‚ Luongo has also played for the Canadian national team in various tournaments. At the 1999 World Junior Championships‚ he won the silver medal. His second tournament‚ he won a gold medal. He has also won two World Cup championships - one in 2003 and the other in 2004. The two-time Olympic gold medalist has also appeared in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. The two-time World Cup champion also handed him the starting role during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. While the record is still far from ideal‚ it is an impressive achievement. The first two goaltenders to reach the milestone were Hall of Famers‚ and both were also No.1 goaltenders. The 1‚000-game milestone is a testament to continuing excellence in a highly demanding position. Only three goalies have played more than seventy games in the past six seasons‚ and those numbers can drop if an injury or hot backup goalie is playing for the team.

Roberto Luongo sets NHL record for longest shootout

The Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals battled through a marathon shootout Saturday. With 11 goals scored‚ this shootout was the longest in NHL history. In the 20th round‚ Nick Bjugstad scored the game-winner. The shootout ended after 20 rounds‚ a record previously held by the New York Rangers. Luongo made 15 saves in all‚ including two on Alex Ovechkin. The Capitals ended the game in a shootout. Both teams used their lineups to cycle through their players‚ and in the shootout‚ Washington's Roberto Luongo made 23 saves. The Lightning's Tyler Johnson tied the record in regulation‚ and Steven Stamkos scored a second-period goal. The Capitals and Lightning played in the shootout on Friday night. Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo set a franchise record for longest shutout streak. The goaltender made 26 saves against the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 2-0 win. The streak now stands at 193 games. The previous record was held by Ken Lockett (155 games). Luongo's last goal allowed came against the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 23‚ 2007‚ and he had shutouts in the following games against the Chicago Blackhawks‚ Anaheim‚ and Columbus. Roberto Luongo was an excellent goaltender in the first two games of the playoffs. He had a perfect record for shutouts during Game 1 and the second in the second round. He tied Kirk McLean's single-season record for the longest shootout. In Game 6‚ the Vancouver Canucks won 2-1 overtime. Roberto Luongo was the starting goaltender in the fifth game. Luongo allowed three goals on 20 shots and was pulled after a lopsided Game 7. The Canucks went on to win 4-0 and win the Stanley Cup. The Capitals had a 9-6 shot advantage in the shootout‚ but a goal by Laich that would have been disallowed was overturned after a video review. The puck was kicked into the net by Laich's skate‚ and MacKenzie one-timed the rebound at 9:36. The puck beat Holtby glove-side. This is the longest shootout in NHL history.

Roberto Luongo's ability to dig deep in tough situations

The NHL is celebrating the achievement of another goalie. Roberto Luongo is now the third player to reach the 1‚000-game mark in the regular season. He has played in 1‚002 regular-season games and 70 more postseason games. Fans and players celebrated his career Saturday night with more than 30 members of his family gathered at the BB & T Center. The storied goaltender had some spectacular games in the playoffs. He had two years before the series loss when he suffered a major hip injury. The style of the winning goal he allowed influenced his game-winning performance. But his ability to dig deep in tough situations helped the Panthers win their first playoff series since 1996. The veteran goaltender had a memorable playoff series. Against the New York Islanders‚ he had one of his best games of his career. He stopped 48 of 59 shots. He had a 2.05 GAA in six games and only allowed three goals. Before joining the Panthers‚ he played for the Vancouver Canucks in their Stanley Cup run in 2011. The game against the Islanders was a classic back-and-forth battle. Both teams struggled for the lead in the first game. Luongo was the better goalie in that game‚ making several big saves and allowing his teammates to score. Despite being outplayed by the Islanders‚ Luongo showed his talent with big saves in crucial situations.

Roberto Luongo's goaltending ability

Despite being injured in the preseason‚ Roberto Luongo re-established himself as a valuable contributor for the Florida Panthers. The rookie split goaltending duties with fellow goaltender Matthew Kidd‚ and went on to play in 42 games in 2000-01. His impressive play earned him the top goaltending honor in the NHL All-Star Game‚ where he helped the west beat the east 12-9. In addition to his stellar play‚ Roberto also set a franchise record with 39 wins in his rookie season‚ surpassing Kirk McLean's 38-win season in 1991-92. His career statistics with the Panthers were impressive‚ too‚ and he ended up posting a 12-24-7 record and a 2.44 GAA. Despite his young age‚ Roberto has already made spectacular plays in the playoffs. In the deciding fifth game against the Ducks‚ Roberto made 56 saves and earned the Val-d'Or trophy for QMJHL goaltending. He also had to miss the first three minutes of the overtime period due to diarrhea. However‚ he came back and saved the day‚ as the Panthers won the series 2-1. In the second overtime‚ a goal by the Canucks that tied the series at two ended in a 2-1 shootout was a great example of how Roberto's goaltending ability helped the Panthers win the series. The Panthers have been fortunate enough to add several new pieces to their lineup in recent years‚ including Luongo. The team also made a trade for Steve Anthony‚ who was the team's top goaltender prior to the start of the 2008-09 season. Despite Luongo's success‚ however‚ the team's first playoff series since 1996 came in 2006-07. After losing Game 1 in Brooklyn‚ the Panthers rallied to tie the game in South Florida and force a seventh game in the Eastern Conference. In the second game in South Florida‚ Aleksander Barkov scored a goal in the first period. The team went on to win Game 3 in overtime‚ but the Islanders won the series on the power play.