The New York Islanders won't have to worry about finding a goaltender for a long time with Rick DiPietro on their roster. The Vancouver Canucks can say the same considering they have Roberto Luongo on theirs.
Luongo looks to give the Canucks (23-14-4) a point in their 14th straight home game on Tuesday when they host the Islanders, who are in the midst of a five-game road trip.
The Islanders made Luongo the fourth overall pick in the 1997 NHL draft, but he only played 24 games with them before being dealt to Florida in 2000. He spent five seasons playing for some poor Panthers teams, posting a 108-154-9 record with 32 ties, but has earned recognition as one of the league's best since arriving in Vancouver in 2006-07.
Luongo had a franchise record 47 wins and a 2.28 goals-against average last season and was a finalist for the Hart and Vezina trophies. He's been even better in 2007-08 - Luongo is 19-12-3 and is among the top three in the NHL in GAA (1.97), save percentage (.930) and shutouts (six).
He earned his latest shutout in the Canucks' last game, a 3-0 win against the New York Rangers on Thursday.
"I have been feeling good and the guys have been playing great in front of me," Luongo said. "We have played especially great at home in front of our fans and it's one of those things where we have confidence at home and things are going our way."
The Canucks are 11-0-2 in their past 13 home games since last suffering a regulation loss at GM Place on Nov. 1. During the streak, Luongo has allowed only 11 goals and recorded all of his shutouts this season.
Luongo has yet to face his former team while with the Canucks, but is 4-9-1 with one tie and a 2.78 GAA against them.
Though Vancouver is last in the Northwest Division with 108 goals scored, Daniel Sedin has been providing much of the scoring lately. He's scored in four consecutive games and has seven goals in his last seven contests giving him 19 tallies this season.
The Islanders (20-17-4) have had issues finding the net as well, posting an Eastern Conference-low 98 goals. For most of the season, DiPietro had kept the in games despite their scoring woes, going 16-13-2 with a 2.44 GAA before spraining his knee on Dec. 22.
DiPietro, who the Islanders drafted No. 1 overall in 2000 - one day before dealing Luongo to Florida - missed the next four games, and has gone 0-1-2 with a 3.27 GAA since returning, including a 4-0 loss at Edmonton on Monday.
"When you lose 4-0, we're battling for a playoff spot, its disappointing," said Islanders defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron. "But it's just another game, we've got to turn the page and keep going."
DiPietro is 1-3-0 with a 4.41 GAA in his career against the Canucks.
The Isles had won five of six prior to its recent winless string thanks in large part to Bill Guerin. The 37-year-old had five goals in that stretch, but has been held scoreless in his last two games.
Mike Comrie, who leads the Islanders with 20 assists and 33 points, has no points in his last two games after having four goals and four assists in his previous five.
New York hasn't played in Vancouver since a 4-3 loss on March 11, 2003.