The Washington Times - October 30, 2011, 04:22AM

VANCOUVER | There might not be a more schizophrenic goaltender in the league than Roberto Luongo. Saturday was a perfect example.

On a couple occasions, he gave up Charmin-soft goals, including a penalty shot to Mike Knuble that went in after he bobbled it with his glove. Then there was a highway robbery of Alex Ovechkin in the third period that prevented any chance of the Capitals mounting a late comeback against the Canucks.


Ovechkin got a hold of the puck off a rebound just about on the doorstep, but Luongo instinctively reached out with his glove hand to snare it.

“I made the save and just kind of reacted there,” Luongo said. “It was nice to be able to make a big save in that situation.”

Ovechkin, who scored twice on Luongo earlier, knew how important that save was at the 9:40 mark of the third with the Caps trailing 6-4.

“It kind of change momentum in that moment,” the captain said. “He makes great play.”

Luongo was happy to be “rewarded” for that stop by what Maxim Lapierre did 45 seconds later: score to make it 7-4 and ice it.

“I think if we’re fair tonight, we’re going to give that win to Lu that make some unreal saves for us,” Lapierre said. “He made some huge saves for us, and he kept us in the game.”

Luongo had some blunders, too – most notably the penalty shot but also Ovechkin’s first, which fluttered in on an odd bounce. But for a guy who hadn’t played a full game since Oct. 20 and has been much-maligned this season and for much of his career, teammates and his coach looked at the end result.

“When the game was on the line in thee third period,” Alain Vigneault said, “he did what he was supposed to do, and that’s what we need from him.”

Here’s video of the save: