Tuesday night’s Panthers-Maple Leafs game in Sunrise, Florida featured a whole lot of goalie madness thanks to both of the Panthers’ netminders sustaining injuries during play.
Roberto Luongo, the game’s starter, was pulled at the end of the first period after taking a Leo Komarov shot off what looked to be the shoulder or neck area. The Panthers’ backup, Al Montoya, replaced him.
Roberto Luongo will not return tonight. (upper body).
— Florida Panthers PR (@FlaPanthersPR) March 4, 2015
But then, early in the third period, Montoya appeared to suffer some sort of lower body injury (possibly a groin tweak) while giving up a Toronto goal. Montoya headed to the bench to speak with coaches and trainers, and Panthers’ center Derek MacKenzie headed down the tunnel to dress as an emergency goaltender.
Montoya ended up staying in the game for a little while longer but looked very uncomfortable and appeared to be laboring in net while doing so. Luongo, who had been dressed in street clothes on the bench following the first period, quickly got changed back into his gear and came back into the game to relieve Montoya.
Roberto Luongo looked like this 10 minutes ago. Now he's in net for the Florida Panthers. pic.twitter.com/WsJt0kE3A8
— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) March 4, 2015
Ultimately, Luongo finished out the game and MacKenzie didn’t have to serve as an emergency backup. Instead, the Panthers called upon goaltending coach Rob Tallas to suit up just in case Luongo couldn’t go the distance. Tallas – who last played in 2001 but suited up as an emergency backup for Florida exactly one year ago – quickly signed a one-day contract that made him eligible to play.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 4, 2015
Crazy, right? Here’s the recap:
This is nuts. pic.twitter.com/WXnTuwY9pj
— Neil Keefe (@NeilKeefe) March 4, 2015
Despite all the madness in the crease, the Panthers only lost to the Leafs’ by a score of 3-2. If they had pulled out the victory it would have been the stuff of legends.