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Luongo stops 35 as Panthers post 2-0 win over Sharks

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Cats take two points in first of three in Cali

NHL: Florida Panthers at San Jose Sharks Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Roberto Luongo stopped 35 shots and Colton Sceviour and Nick Bjugstad scored the only goals in the Florida Panthers 2-0 win over the San Jose Sharks.

The Sharks had two goals disallowed during the game. Defenseman Tim Heed beat Luongo from the blue line early in the second period, but the puck came just outside the line before Heed made contact, making the play offsides. Marc-Eduoard Vlasic thought he had a goal 5:16 into the third, but it too was waved off as Vlasic pushed Luongo’s pad and the puck into the net.

After a scoreless first period that saw Martin Jones rob Bjugstad on a breakaway, Colton Sceviour got the game’s first goal when he banged in his own rebound on a wraparound attempt. Sceviour outworked Joe Pavelski and Joakim Ryan behind the net before potting his fourth, with the assists going to Connor Brickley and Vincent Trocheck.

Bjugstad would solve Jones 12:23 into the final frame with a one-timer from in close off a pretty no-look backhand pass from Jamie McGinn. Radim Vrbata drew the secondary assist on the insurance goal.

Luongo’s best save of the night came with 5:33 left in regulation when he stretched out to deny Timo Meier’s backhand bid with his glove. Meier had a game-high seven shots, but couldn’t dent the twine.

After defeating Dallas on Tuesday, the Panthers have won back-to-back games for the first time since the opening week of the season when they beat Tampa Bay and St. Louis to stand at 2-1. Florida (7-9-2) has won three of their last four to creep within five points of the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Further success in California will draw the Cats even closer.

Full Highlights (courtesy of NHL.com)

Teeth & Chum

  • The shutout was the 74th of Roberto Luongo’s long career. Luongo is the NHL’s active leader in this category with Henrik Lundqvist now 12 behind.
  • The win was Florida’s seventh in its last eight visits to San Jose.
  • In addition to scoring the game-winning goal, Colton Sceviour led the Panthers with five shots on goal.
  • While San Jose defenseman Brent Burns remains goalless in 2017-18, it wasn’t for a lack of trying. Luongo made six stops on Burns, who dished out two hits and blocked a shot.
  • Martin Jones turned aside 26 shots in a quality start for the Sharks. Despite taking the loss, Jones’ GAA remained stead at 2.13.
  • Vincent Trocheck’s helper gave him 12 points in the last 10 games. Trocheck has only been kept off the score sheet in four of Florida’s 18 games.
  • Check out Fear The Fin to hear the tale about the one (or maybe two) that got away.