Luongo should be in net Sunday afternoon in an effort to rebound from one of his worst performances of the season when the Canucks visit the Nashville Predators, who were also victimized by sloppy play in their last game.
Luongo became a national hero by winning all five starts with a 1.76 goals-against average to spur Canada’s run to the gold medal in Vancouver.
He carried that play back to the Canucks (39-23-2), making 28 saves in a 6-3 win at Detroit on Wednesday. However, Luongo followed by giving up five goals as the Canucks committed several costly defensive errors in a dismal opening period before eventually falling 6-3 at Chicago on Friday.
One of the miscues came on a goal that trickled over the line after deflecting off Luongo’s stick following a seemingly harmless centering pass from the right boards.
“I don’t think we had a great period and I don’t think we were ready to play,” said Luongo, who was pulled after the first. “Unfortunately, I felt good. That’s the sad part. I felt ready. I felt sharp. And the goals kept going in.
“I didn’t want to be in there for a dozen, so you might as well take me out after the first.”
Luongo is 3-4-0 with a 3.70 GAA in starting eight of the Canucks’ 11 games during this NHL-record stretch of 14 consecutive road contests caused by the staging and clean up of the Olympics. He’s been pulled three times in that span.
Luongo is 1-3-0 with a 2.78 GAA in his last four starts against the Predators (35-24-5). He stopped 22 of 25 shots in a 4-2 loss Dec. 8 in the most recent matchup in Nashville.
Canucks left wing Alex Burrows(notes) has scored a goal in each of the three games since the Olympic break after managing one in the previous seven. He leads Vancouver with a career-high 29 goals, scoring twice in a 3-2 loss to the Predators on Jan. 11.
“We gave them two free goals,” coach Barry Trotz said of the miscue by Klein and Detroit’s short-handed goal in the second period. “The first goal and the fourth goal. Bad turnovers, bad mistakes.”
Nashville could use some increased production from Patric Hornqvist(notes), the team leader with a career-high 23 goals. The right wing is on an eight-game goal drought after scoring 10 in the previous 14.
He has two goals in four career games against Vancouver.