Last night’s victory was something special, no? Ryan Strome scored his first NHL goal; Calvin de Haan recorded his first two NHL points; John Tavares recorded five points, including a hat trick, to give him 300 points in his NHL career, which ultimately led to a 7-3 win, the third time in the past five games that the team overcame a two-goal deficit to earn two points in the standings.
Yes, last night was a good night for the Islanders and their fanbase; however, the end of the night left a bit of a damper on the celebration.
Almost immediately after the game concluded, the Islanders announced that starting goaltender Evgeni Nabokov was placed on injured reserve with a “lower-body injury” after removing himself from the game midway through the first period. After sprawling out to make a save, Nabokov needed assistance from the team’s trainer, but got back to his feet, and looked as if he was ready to stay in the contest. As play went on, and the whistle was eventually blown, Nabokov removed himself from the ice, skating straight to the tunnel and off to the locker room.
While Kevin Poulin did a phenomenal job in a relief appearance that he could prepare “with as much notice as you guys (the media),” Nabokov’s injury will certainly be an obstacle for the Islanders to come. Nabokov, who recently returned from an injury suffered earlier on in the season, is 5-3-2 in his last 11 games, and 9-8-5 in 2013-14, earning points in the standings in over 63% of his decisions. Other factors may have played a part in it, but Poulin and Anders Nilsson have combined for a 5-14-2 record. Only three of Poulin’s wins have come in starts.
Nilsson will replace Nabokov in the Islanders lineup as the team begins its six-game road trip, beginning tonight in Toronto.