Two days after his 35th birthday Roberto Luongo gave his former Vancouver Canuck teammates a gift by beating the Dallas Stars, 3-2, on Sunday. The Canucks have a slim chance of making the Stanley Cup playoffs and a Dallas win would have eliminated them.
Luongo and his Florida Panther teammates had to come from a 2-0 deficit to take the afternoon contest in Miami. Jamie Benn got his 33rd in the first period for Dallas and Tyler Seguin's 36th just 39 seconds into the second period gave the Stars a two-goal lead.
But that was all Luongo allowed.
In the middle frame, the Panthers got goals past Kari Lehtonen from Scottie Upshall and Brandon Pirri before Sean Bergenheim got the winner at 15:39 of the third on a redirect of a pass from defenceman Colby Robak. Luongo made things interesting at 16:17 of that final frame when he took a delay of game penalty but Dallas couldn't put one past him on the power play.
Luongo's former team needs more than help to make the playoffs, however: they need a miracle. Should the Canucks manage to win all four of their remaining games (home vs. Anaheim, Colorado and Calgary, on the road against Edmonton) they'd still need lots of help from other clubs to take out both the Stars and the Phoenix Coyotes. The Nashville Predators are also in the picture, barely, as they are tied with the Canucks, also with 4 games remaining.
Dallas outshot Florida 37-24. After the game Luongo, through his twitter alter-ego Strombone 1, tweeted the following message: You're welcome @VanCanucks ! Glad I could help! #stillonpayroll #15%