Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo will not play Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens, coach Peter Horachek said Friday.
Luongo sustained an upper-body injury Thursday in a collision with Carolina Hurricanes forward Radek Dvorak.
"It would be a lot different if we were right now fighting for the Presidents' Trophy or a certain [playoff] position," Horachek told the Sun Sentinel. "He's an important part of the team. It's not good to see him out, but it's an opportunity for Danny to step up and do the same thing and give us the same feeling."
Luongo was knocked down and shaken up with 7:12 left in the first period. Luongo finished the period but was not on the bench for the start of the second. He was replaced by Dan Ellis, who will start Saturday.
"It's always exciting whenever you play against Montreal,' Ellis told the newspaper. "Everywhere they go they have such a large fan base that follows them. And they're a team that's competing for playoff position. So it's a good challenge for us as a team to come together and make a good push these final few games."
Luongo gave up one goal on 12 shots in the first period. He faced one shot after getting hit by Dvorak, who was assessed a five-minute major for charging and a game misconduct.
The Hurricanes won the game 3-0.
The Panthers will recall goaltender Scott Clemmensen from San Antonio of the American Hockey League to back up Ellis.
Horachek said forward Jonathan Huberdeau (upper body) will try to skate next week and there's a chance he could play in the some of the final five games. Huberdeau has been out since March 16.