Luongo has allowed one or two goals in each of his last five starts. He is 3-2-0 during that stretch.
Luongo skated in warmups before the game, but team officials announced shortly before the start of the game that Luongo is out with an upper-body injury. He was replaced by Dan Ellis, who made his fifth start for the Panthers since being acquired from the Dallas Stars on March 5.
Hurricanes forward Radek Dvorak crashed into Luongo at 12:48 of the first, driving him into the back of the net and knocking the goal off its moorings. Dvorak was given a major penalty for charging and was ejected. Luongo finished the period, in which he stopped 11 of 12 shots.
The goalie, who previously played for Florida from 2000-06, helped the Panthers to a 2-0 win in his return.
Luongo told Canada's TSN Radio that he thought his contract would make him untradeable. He signed a 12-year extension in 2009, with the deal paying him about $64 million through 2022.
The 34-year-old Luongo is a three-time Olympian who already earned a gold medal in 2010. He won four straight elimination games in Vancouver, making 34 saves in the overtime final against the United States.
Luongo has been superb since the start of December, going 7-2-1 with a 1.67 GAA and one shutout.
Luongo suffered an undisclosed injury in Los Angeles on Jan. 4.
Luongo took part in his first workout with the team Wednesday since sustaining a lower-body injury Dec. 22 against Winnipeg.
Luongo hadn't played since sustaining a lower-body injury Dec. 22 against Winnipeg.
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