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NHL scores 2016: Al Montoya continues Panthers' track record of excellence in goal

Roberto Luongo and Al Montoya might just be the best one-two goaltending combination in the NHL.

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

It's not just Roberto Luongo carrying the Florida Panthers' goaltending.

Luongo deservedly gets most of the love for his performance in net this year with the Panthers. A lot of it comes from his age because no 36-year-old goaltender should be putting up a .924 save percentage along with top-10 numbers across the board. The numbers have catapulted Luongo to Vezina Trophy consideration. He might be more deserving than goaltenders like Braden Holtby because Luongo's contributions to his team outweigh Holtby's on a deep Capitals team.

That being said, it's easy to forget Luongo isn't just a one-man show in Florida. Backing him up is 31-year-old Al Montoya, who is on track to put up career numbers if his pace stays the same. With a .926 save percentage and a 2.06 GAA in 15 games, Montoya is showing he's more than capable in that backup role behind Luongo.

And the two-man team is working for the Panthers, who are fifth in the NHL in goals allowed with 132 on the season thus far.

Even against a Pittsburgh Penguins' offense lacking dynamo Evgeni Malkin, Montoya shut the door with a 31-save performance Monday, allowing just one goal in regulation while keeping the Panthers alive long enough to win the shootout.

The Panthers will need both Luongo and Montoya at the top of their games if they want to keep afloat of the surging Red Wings, who threaten Florida's top spot in the Atlantic. Florida isn't a lock for the playoffs just yet, but the Panthers' chances are much higher thanks to the sensational goaltending duo they've got this season.


New York Islanders 4, Detroit Red Wings 1
Anaheim Ducks 6, Calgary Flames 4
Florida Panthers 2, Pittsburgh Penguins 1 (SO)
Dallas Stars 3, Nashville Predators 2 (OT)
Chicago Blackhawks 7, Toronto Maple Leafs 2
Arizona Coyotes 6, Montreal Canadiens 2
Minnesota Wild 5, Vancouver Canucks 2

3 things we learned

1. Anaheim moves into second place in the Pacific

Started from the bottom, now the Ducks are five points behind the Los Angeles Kings for first in the Pacific Division. A 8-1-1 record, including their 6-4 victory over the Calgary Flames, has Anaheim in possession of second place in the Pacific with 64 points, one above the San Jose Sharks. There was no way the Ducks were as bad as their start to the 2015-16 season indicated and despite still being dead last in the league in goals for, they've gone 16-4-2 since Christmas. Safe to say the Ducks are back.

2. Artemi Panarin, Patrick Kane lead Blackhawks' offensive explosion

There was a lot of offense Monday, but the biggest showing of the day came from the Chicago Blackhawks, who put up seven goals on the Maple Leafs in a 7-2 victory. With a goal and two assists, Panarin takes the rookie goal scoring race back with 19 tallies on the year. Kane also contributed with four points, giving him 82 points in 60 games. The NHL points leader also put up his 400th career assist in the thumping of the Maple Leafs, widening his lead over the rest of the pack to almost 20.

3. Dallas continues to right the ship on the road

The January blues for the Stars seem to be long in the past. With a 3-2 overtime win in a key Central matchup against the Predators, the Stars now have an 8-2-0 record in their last 10, leaving behind a dismal first month of 2016 that saw them win just three contests. A big reason for their recent success? The way they've played road games, as they now have a five-game win streak on the road. Three of the Stars' next four games are away from the American Airlines Center.

Impact Moment

We don't see this very often. Coyotes netminder Anders Lindback was set to back up Arizona rookie starter Louis Domingue against the Canadiens, but an off-ice injury prior to warmups caused the backup to go down last minute. As such, Arizona had to activate emergency goalie Nathan Schoenfeld, son of former Coyotes coach Jim Schoenfeld and current men's league netminder. Schoenfeld didn't play, but he certainly looked like he had a good time riding the bench in the Coyotes' 6-2 win.

Stat of the Night

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