Roberto Luongo outplayed Antti Niemi and beat the San Jose Sharks to help the Vancouver Canucks reach the Stanley Cup finals last spring.
However, when the teams meet for the first time since the playoffs, Niemi will be the far hotter goaltender while it isn't clear whether Luongo will even be in net.
The Sharks will try to match a season with a high fifth straight win Saturday night when they host the Canucks, who are trying to extend their longest winning streak of the season.
Vancouver eliminated San Jose in five games in the Western Conference finals last season behind Luongo, who had a 2.38 goals-against average in that series compared to Niemi's 3.68 mark.
Niemi, though, enters this contest having won five straight starts while Luongo hasn't played since Nov. 13 due to an undisclosed upper-body injury. The Vancouver goalie hasn't been particularly sharp this season even when healthy, going 7-5-1 with a 2.97 GAA which ranks him in the bottom third of the league.
A matchup ...