Top Shelf – Islanders Daily 12/16/13

Dec 14, 2013; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov (20) warms up before facing the Montreal Canadiens at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

I have another bad case of the Mondays, Isles fans. Once again we start another week without an Isles win in close to one week, yet we prepare ourselves for battle as the Steven Stamkos-less Tampa Bay Lightning come to the Nassau Coliseum tomorrow night.

Without any changes, the New York Islanders figure to be the same team we have seen over the past couple of weeks, albeit slowly getting healthier. Evgeni Nabokov is the latest player to return to the Islanders lineup, and he played remarkable on Saturday night. As much criticism he has taken, Nabby demonstrated how valuable he is to the Islanders when he’s on top of his game, and if the Islanders are going to have any shot at turning this sinking ship around, he’s going to have to be the man at the wheel.

Of course, the Islanders wasted Nabokov’s performance, which is a shame considering the Islanders season-long defensive performance. Here’s to hoping this is only the beginning for the Isles goalie, though, who is 5-5-4 this season. Regardless of your feelings towards the Isles netminder, fact is fact: Nabokov has moved the Islanders up the standings more than he hasn’t during his Isles career (47-34-14).

In case you missed it:

It was nice to see Nabokov play brilliant in his return to the Island. (EOI)

Calvin de Haan is showing promise on the Islanders blue-line. (EOI)

Islanders GIFs of the Week. (EOI)

Five Reasons for Islanders fans to be optimistic (Islanders Op-Timism)

Around the NHL:

Washington Capitals 5, Philadelphia Flyers 4 SO: WSH (Ovechkin [2], Green, Orlov, Backstrom SO Winner), PHI (Girouk, Streit, Couturier, Voracek) – The Capitals scored 3 goals in the final 8:20 of the third period, including Alexander Ovechkin’s second of the game, 28th of the season, with forty-eight seconds remaining.  Nicklas Backstrom scored the deciding goal in the shootout.

Tampa Bay Lightning 3, Detroit Red Wings 0: TBL (Johnson, Brown, Killorn) – Tampa Bay scored three third period goals, and Ben Bishop stopped all 28 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season.

Florida Panthers 2, Montreal Canadiens 1: FLA (Winchester, Bjugstad), MTL (Galchenyuk) – Jesse Winchester broke a scoreless tie in the second period and Nick Bjugstad added one more less than three minutes later. The Panthers killed off a late 5-on-3 penalty to seal it for Florida.

New York Rangers 4, Calgary Flames 3 SO: NYR (Stepan, Hagelin, Kreider, Pouliot SO Winner), CGY (Backlund, Glencross, Monahan) – Benoit Pouliot converted the one-handed move Peter Forsberg made famous to give the Rangers their first shootout win of the season.

Chicago Blackhawks 3, Los Angeles Kings 1: CHI (Hossa, Versteeg, Sharp), LAK (Martinez) – Chicago snapped Los Angeles’ 18-game streak without allowing a first period goal (record is 19 by 1928 Senators), giving up three goals in the first frame.

Anaheim Ducks 3, Edmonton Oilers 2: ANA (Bonino, Selanne, Penner), EDM (Nugent-Hopkins, Gagner) – Teemu Selanne scored the 679th goal of his NHL career, and Dustin Penner put the Ducks ahead with just over three minutes left to play.

Across the Sound:

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers fell to the Manchester Monarchs 3-1 on Sunday afternoon. Sean Wiles would score his first goal as a member of the Sound Tigers, and Anders Nilsson stopped 18 of 20 shots, but Tanner Pearson’s hat trick would prove to be too much for Bridgeport. The Sound Tigers drop to 10-13-1-3 on the season.