A pain in the neck

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:36 PM ET

VICTORIA -- The Vancouver Canucks' four-day training camp here wasn't supposed to be a pain in the neck for anybody, but that's how it ended for goaltender Roberto Luongo in Sunday's Blue versus White scrimmage.

Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre went silent with 3:56 left in the first of three 25-minute real time periods when Brad Isbister's slap shot felled Luongo, the White netminder.

The Canucks' ace netminder lay motionless but eventually left the crease for replacement Drew McIntyre, who also played the second and third periods of the scrimmage.

"It's always scary at first when it happens, you're not too sure what's going on for the first few seconds," said Luongo, who had a welt larger than a toonie on the left side of his lower neck.

Former New York Ranger Isbister, an off-season acquisition, received a Henrik Sedin pass and shot from the hashmarks.

"I felt bad, obviously I didn't mean to do that," Isbister said. "It's unfortunate it happened."

Luongo said he would be ready for practice Monday. Head coach Alain Vigneault said backup Curtis Sanford would start Monday's exhibition game in Vancouver with the Anaheim Ducks. Luongo will see three-and-a-half games of work during the eight-game pre-season schedule.

Yesterday's injury may convince Luongo to wear more neck protection. He needed a hospital visit after a puck hit his throat in a practice at Montreal last January. He resists wearing the dangling, full-frontal neck cover from his mask because it's too cumbersome and inhibits his ability to see low pucks.

"He's the one that knows how he feels and what's best for him," Vigneault said. "I don't have enough experience as far as goaltender equipment, that's his call."

Trevor Linden tweaked his groin, but should be available. Sami Salo, however, jammed his wrist and left the arena for x-rays at a local hospital.

Taylor Pyatt scored twice to lift the Blue team to 4-3 win before 7,006 fans.


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