A year ago Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider were friendly rivals jockeying for the top job in net in a highly publicized goalie controversy in hockey-crazed Vancouver. On Friday night, the former Canucks netminders stared across the ice from each other only this time Luongo was in a familiar No. 1 Panthers’ jersey he had worn for five seasons from 2000-06, while Schneider was making his 36th appearance for the Devils since a surprising draft-day trade. For the third time this year, Luongo got the best of a slumping Schneider, although his first as a Panther. But it was mostly due to the work of his three assistant captains who helped erase a two-goal deficit en route to a 5-3 victory over the Devils Friday night at the BB&T Center to snap a three-game skid. “It is kind of weird but what are you going to do? I don’t think a lot of people saw that scenario but it’s done now and we’ve both moved on,’’ Luongo said of him and Schneider’s surprising path to this matchup. “It was huge. I wasn’t happy with myself for the third goal. “I came out in the third and wanted to shut the door for the boys and was happy I got rewarded there with a couple of good goals. Guys don’t quit. We got some fresh young legs, they skate hard. “I actually feel bad [for Schneider], they need the points more than us,’’ said Luongo, who had 28 saves to Schneider’s 17. “We’re competing out there. I gave it my all and so is he. I’m happy to get the win, but it’s too bad for him.’’ Trailing 3-2 after two periods, the Panthers tied it at 15:36 as Brad Boyes — wearing the ‘A’ on his sleeve — intercepted a crossing pass by defenseman Mark Fayne and strolled in on Schneider before flicking it through his five-hole for his team-leading 18th goal. “All season we always had the push at the end, whether we come up short,’’ Boyes said. “Even against Tampa Bay last night we get a couple of goals in the last minute, but we were a little short. “They’re fighting hard for a spot and for us we’ve got to continue to play well through injuries. It’s lot more fun winning, so we want to do that.’’ Boyes then won a puck battle on the boards before getting it to assistant captain Scottie Upshall, who skated in on Schneider as if he was out for a morning stroll before firing home his 13th goal with 10 minutes left. “I asked [Luongo] if they had a little side bet on the game,’’ Upshall kidded about the goalie matchup. “They know each other well. [They’re both] great goalies. It was a battle of a desperate team and us, who are trying to play spoiler with a lot of young guys. … It was nice to come out on top.’’ Then after a brawl on the side boards and with the Devils net vacant, rookie Vincent Trocheck added the cherry on top with an empty-netter with 33 seconds left for his first NHL goal in his fifth game. “It’s definitely a weight off my shoulders. Five games felt like an eternity to get that first one,’’ said Trocheck, 20. “It feels good and hopefully, it’ll keep coming up. “Puck was rolling a little bit and I’m thinking if I miss this it’s an absolute joke. … Actually, legitimately it felt like it took five minutes for me to skate down the ice.’’ Luongo will have another chance for revenge against the Canucks in Sunday’s 3 p.m. home game. “We respected each other, we believed in one another,” said Schneider before the game, who has given up 15 goals in his last three starts. “If he was in the net or I was in the net, we felt the team had a chance to win. “A year or two ago this didn't really seem like a likely outcome, but it's what it is. Obviously, newer for him. … It's a funny game; things happen and you just sort of have to adjust on the fly and move on.”