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Roberto Luongo 'good to go' for Panthers opener

Goaltender expected to be fully recovered from hip surgery in time for regular season

by Alain Poupart / Correspondent

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. -- Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo will be ready for the start of the regular season, general manager Tom Rowe said Tuesday.

Luongo, 37, had hip surgery after Florida lost to the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference First Round last season and has been a regular participant in informal workouts at the Panthers practice facility. He may be able to fully participate in practice when they open training camp later this week.

"He's good to go, from everything I've heard and watching him with our training staff and then working out with (physical therapist) Tim Wittenauer," Rowe said. "Everything looks really good.

"Definitely opening night. That was his goal and he's right on target for that."

The Panthers open the regular season against the New Jersey Devils at BB&T Center on Oct. 13.

Luongo was 35-19-6 with a 2.35 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage in 62 games (60 starts) last season, but the Panthers signed goaltender James Reimer to a five-year contract on July 1 with the idea of lightening Luongo's workload.

Luongo is the NHL's active leader in games played (926), wins (436) and shutouts (72).

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