Roberto Luongo lost what likely was his final home game in a Vancouver Canucks uniform.
He'll hope for a better result in what most believe will be his last regular-season appearance with the team Saturday night against the Edmonton Oilers.
With No. 1 goaltender Cory Schneider sidelined by an undisclosed injury suffered against Chicago on Monday, Luongo started Thursday's 3-1 loss to Anaheim and is scheduled to be in net against the Oilers. The Canucks are expected to move Luongo via trade or a contract buyout in the offseason after they were unable to swing a deal at the trade deadline or last summer.
With Schneider almost certain to start the playoff opener, this could be Luongo's final game with the Canucks (24-14-7) if he doesn't make any postseason appearances.
Luongo is finishing his seventh season with Vancouver and is the franchise leader in wins (233) and shutouts (35), while ranking second in games played (405).
"For me it didn't feel like the last game," the 34-year-old Luongo said after losing to Anaheim. "So it's tough to think that way when there are games ahead."
The Canucks had an eight-game home win streak snapped Thursday, getting outshot 25-9 over the first two periods before reversing that with a 20-5 advantage in the final 20 minutes.
"I don't want to make excuses for the group," Luongo said. "We're all professionals, and we know the intensity we need to be successful and we saw that in the third when we were playing our game. We completely dominated the play."
As Northwest Division champions for the fifth straight season, the Canucks are locked into the third seed though their first-round opponent is still to be determined.
Vancouver's special teams have been very good lately, which bodes well for the playoffs. The power play is 6 for 22 over the last six games, while the penalty killers have been scored upon only twice in the past 38 short-handed situations.
Although the Oilers (18-22-7) will miss the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season, they are coming off an impressive 6-1 victory at Minnesota on Friday. Corey Potter and Nail Yakupov each scored twice as Edmonton prevented the Wild from clinching a playoff spot.
"We wanted to come out and spoil their party, and we did," said Taylor Hall, who had a goal and two assists.
The six goals marked a rare offensive outburst for a team that had scored two in its previous three contests and averaged 1.4 during a 1-9-0 skid.
Edmonton has been outscored 22-7 during a six-game home losing streak, but is 1-0-1 there against Vancouver this season.
Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 38 shots Friday, but likely will give way to Devan Dubnyk for the season finale. Dubnyk has lost his last four home starts, posting a 3.62 goals-against average.
Luongo is 4-0-1 with a 1.72 GAA in his past five versus the Oilers.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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