SPORTS

Roberto Luongo returns, and more NHL things to know

01/08/2015 12:19 EST | Updated 03/10/2015 05:59 EDT
Roberto Luongo's return to Vancouver takes centre stage in the NHL on Thursday night, while the Jets play the old Jets and a Stanley Cup final rematch takes place in L.A.

Here are four things to know for tonight's NHL games:

Welcome back, Bobby Lou

Luongo is set to play his first game in Vancouver since the Canucks traded him to Florida just before the trade deadline last year.

For a look back at the ups and downs of Bobby Lou's eight seasons in Van City, click here.

Luongo is doing OK with his new/old team (he played for the Panthers from 2000-2006). The 35-year-old's save percentage (.924) and goals-against average (2.28) are both better than they were with Vancouver last season, and his 15 wins have helped Florida (17-11-9) return to respectability after finishing with the NHL's second-worst record last season.

Vancouver (23-12-3) is doing just fine with Ryan Miller as its new main man between the pipes and is going for its third straight win.

J.P. Parisé dies

Minnesota Wild star Zach Parisé delivered some sad news to the team today when he announced that his father, J.P. Parisé, died Wednesday night after a fight with lung cancer.

J.P. Parisé scored 238 goals during a 17-year NHL career that included two stints with the Minnesota North Stars and time with Boston, Toronto (one game), the New York Islanders and the Cleveland Barons. A dependable two-way player, he was twice named to play in the NHL All-Star Game.

Parisé also played for Canada in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union, and is perhaps best known for nearly striking reviled ref Josef Kompalla with his stick during the eighth and final game.

It wasn't immediately known whether Zach Parisé would play in tonight's home game against Chicago. 

Cup rematch

The Kings and Rangers meet for the first time since last year's Stanley Cup final when they play in Los Angeles tonight.

L.A. won its second Cup in three years when Alex Martinez beat the Rangers with a goal in the second overtime period of Game 5 on home ice.

Since then, the Kings haven't looked like championship material. Their 19-12-9 start to the season has them fourth in the Pacific Division, though they do hold a wild-card spot.

New York (22-11-4), also in wild-card position in the Eastern Conference, is on a serious roll with 11 wins in its last 12 games.

Jets vs. Jets

The Winnipeg Jets open a three-game road trip against Pacific Division foes when they visit Arizona. The Coyotes, of course, were once known as the Winnipeg Jets before bailing for the desert after the 1995-96 season. They called themselves the Phoenix Coyotes until this season, when the suburban city of Glendale that has kept the team afloat with a favourable arena deal understandably asked for a name change.

The current Jets (né​e Atlanta Thrashers) are fighting for their first playoff spot since returning to Manitoba for the 2011-12 season. Their 20-13-7 record has them two points up on Calgary for the last wild-card spot in the West.

The other Canadian team in action tonight is Ottawa, which visits Colorado in a matchup of two of the league's lower-level teams.

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