VANCOUVER – Roberto Luongo might get a chance to play against his hometown team after all.
A Vancouver Canucks spokeswoman confirmed the goaltender made the trip to Montreal ahead of Thursday’s game against the Canadiens. Luongo was sidelined after taking a Gabriel Landeskog shot in the throat in Tuesday’s 6-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
Luongo served the rest of the game as the backup to Cory Schneider. Following the game, the 32-year-old Montreal native said he felt light-headed after going down, but indicated he was feeling better.
Luongo made only his second start since suffering an undisclosed upper-body injury Nov. 13 against the New York Islanders. Prior to making a relief appearance in a loss to Nashville a week ago and starting Sunday against Calgary, he watched five straight games from the bench and missed another two with his brief injury. It marked the first time in Luongo’s six-season tenure with the Canucks that he served as the backup for an extended period.
The Canadiens pose the first test on Vancouver’s five-game road trip. The Canucks have posted seven wins, including three shutouts, in their last eight games.
Schneider was credited with two of those while Tuesday’s blanking of the Avs was recorded as a team shutout because both goaltenders played. This marks the second time Luongo has had to deal with throat issues prior to a game in Montreal. In 2006-07, he took a shot in the larynx during practice and spent the night before the game in a Montreal hospital. But he was released in time to post a 4-0 victory.
Luongo takes particular enjoyment from playing in Montreal before family and friends. In 26 career games against the Habs, he has a 9-11-5 record, two shutouts and a .923 save percentage.
Meanwhile, winger Chris Higgins, who was forced to sit out Tuesday with a recurrence of a staph infection in his foot suffered last season, was also on the team’s charter flight. The swelling in his foot has gone down with help from medication, but it remains to be seen whether he will play.
Higgins is currently riding a four-game points streak.
The team spokeswoman did not have details on the status of winger David Booth, who was injured in a knee-on-knee collision with Colorado’s Kevin Porter on Tuesday. Porter, previously unpenalized this season, received a five-minute major and game misconduct for the hit.
Earlier Wednesday, the Canucks called up winger Bill Sweatt from Chicago of the AHL on an emergency basis and re-assigned winger Viktor Oreskovich to Chicago after he played on the fourth line Tuesday.
Sweatt, a 23-year-old Elburn, Ill., native is in his second season in the Canucks organization after signing as a free agent out of Colorado College. He is expected to suit up for his first NHL game Thursday.
He had recorded four goals, five assists and 10 penalty minutes in 19 games with the Wolves.
Notes: The Canucks also announced they have signed a minor-league affiliation agreement with the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL. The announcement marks the second time the Canucks and the Michigan-based club have joined forces. The Canucks and K-Wings were also affiliated with each other from 1984-87, when Kalamazoo was in the now-defunct International Hockey League. Vancouver had to look for a new ECHL farm club after the Victoria Salmon Kings folded following the 2010-11 season.