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Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo to miss 'extended period of time' with injury

Matthew Defranks, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Hockey

Florida Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo will miss "an extended period of time" with a lower-body injury, coach Bob Boughner said after practice on Wednesday morning.

"Whether that's three weeks, four weeks, five weeks, we're going to see how his rehab goes, that kind of thing," Boughner said. "Definitely out for a while."

Luongo got hurt during the second period of Monday's shootout loss to the New York Islanders, making a right pad save on a Ryan Pulock's slap shot. Luongo was on the ice for a few minutes before being helped off the ice, unable to put weight on his right leg.

Boughner said the injury was not to Luongo's hip, which he had surgery on two summers ago. Multiple reports have said the injury is to Luongo's groin.

"When he went down, I was obviously scared about the hip," Boughner said. "It's not the hip, I can tell you that. That's a good thing. Obviously, when he went down, everybody was a little worried about that. He's here and he's working out here today. It's a rehab thing."

Luongo's absence will be the second extended one of the season for the 38-year-old netminder. In October, he missed two weeks and six games with a right hand injury suffered against the Penguins on Oct. 20.

 

Without Luongo, James Reimer will step into the starter's role again. When Luongo was out earlier this season, Reimer started hot but then went cold in replacement duty. He made at least 30 saves in the first four games after Luongo's injury, but allowed nine goals in less than 60 minutes against Tampa Bay and Columbus. He was pulled for Antti Niemi for both games.

"The last time he had to be in this position, there were some ups and some downs," Boughner said. "But for the most part, he's a good goalie. We have to support him. We weren't as good back then as we are now, I think, defensively."

This year, Reimer has posted a .892 save percentage and 3.67 goals against average in 14 games (12 starts).

"Hopefully, he comes back quick and he can keep going on with his legendary career so far," Reimer said. "In his absence, yeah, probably playing a few more games and looking forward to it and looking forward to putting a couple wins here back-to-back."

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