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Waiting game on Luongo

by Staff /
Is no news good news?

That's was the question Sunday regarding Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, who underwent an MRI Sunday to determine the severity of a lower body injury the goaltender suffered in the first period of Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Canucks said Sunday there would be no update on Luongo until Monday.

Manitoba Moose starting goaltender Cory Schneider was recalled for Monday’s game against Detroit as a precaution.

Luongo's injury cast a pall over a big win for the Canucks, who wrapped up their best road trip in two years Saturday with the win in Pittsburgh.

The big goalie went down just 4:54 gone in the game after kicking with his left leg and then trying to move right in reaction to what appeared to be a routine shot by Penguins defenseman Philippe Boucher that was deflected by Canucks defenseman Rob Davison.

"I don't know if it happened when I was extending or as I was trying to react to the deflection — it was pretty much a lot of pain at that point," Luongo said after the game.

Luongo crumpled to the ice and stayed there for several minutes. He had to be helped off the ice, unable to put any weight on his left leg.

"There was pretty much a lot of pain there," Luongo told the media. "Right away, I knew it wasn't good. It's very disappointing and frustrating. We were playing great as a team, and I was really happy with my game in the last few weeks."

Luongo has been playing perhaps the best hockey of his life during the last few weeks. He leads the NHL with five shutouts, three of which came consecutively during a shutout streak that lasted 242:36. 

The injury spoiled what should have been a festive finale to an excellent road trip for the Canucks. After a 2-1 shootout loss to the New York Islanders on Monday, the Canucks beat the Rangers and Minnesota Wild before stifling the Penguins.

Pavol Demitra scored twice and the Sedin twins, Henrik and Daniel, each had three points as the Canucks rallied around backup goaltender Curtis Sanford, who stopped 17 of the 18 shots he faced for his second win in three days.

Luongo had started the previous 14 games before getting the night off Thursday, when Sanford won for the first time since Dec. 12, 2007.

"You hate to see your teammate down on the ice like that, he's the biggest part of our team," Sanford said. "But we're going to have to move past that, and we're going to have to play some games without him in there."

The victory assured the Canucks of heading home for Monday's game against Detroit in first place in the Northwest Division. But it looks like the pressure will be on Sanford, not Luongo, to try to keep them there.

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