Posted October 15, 2011 on
AP on Fox
Evgeni Nabokov is making his long-awaited New York Islanders debut against the rival New York Rangers.
Nabokov seemed unlikely to ever play for the Islanders when he declined to report to the team last season after being claimed off waivers, but he got the starting nod Saturday night in New York's fourth game of the season.
The 36-year-old goalie was scratched for the Islanders' first two games and then served as backup to Al Montoya on Thursday when New York beat Tampa Bay at home.
Montoya started all three games this season and played all but two minutes. He was backed up in the first two games by Rick DiPietro, who is out indefinitely with a concussion sustained in practice Wednesday when he was struck in the mask on a shot by teammate Brian Rolston.
Nabokov is making his return to the NHL after playing part of last season in Russia's KHL. After being released by SKA St. Petersburg, he had hoped to be back in North America when he signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings in January. Nabokov played in only 22 games for St. Petersburg.
The NHL's collective bargaining agreement states that anyone who plays in a professional league before signing an NHL contract must clear waivers. So before he played for Detroit, he was plucked off the waiver wire by New York.
Once claimed, Nabokov refused to report, saying he preferred to stay home on the West Coast instead of going to a noncontending team such as the Islanders.
During the summer, New York held over Nabokov's contract, meaning he was still bound to the team for this season. Nabokov came to training camp and is now part of a crowded goalie mix with Montoya and the veteran, yet oft-injured DiPietro.
In 563 NHL games with the Sharks, with whom he debuted in the 1999-2000 season, Nabokov is 293-178-66 with a 2.39 goals-against average. He hasn't played in an NHL regular-season game since beating Phoenix on April 10, 2010. This is his first NHL game overall since May 23, 2010, when Chicago completed a sweep of San Jose in the Western Conference finals.
Nabokov, the runner-up for the Vezina Trophy in 1998, has a 4-3 record with a 2.42 GAA in seven career games against the Rangers.
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from Katie Strang of the New York Hockey Blog at ESPN New York, The Islanders could be showcasing the 36-year-old netminder in hopes of trading him.
Capuano’s decision was a puzzling one, especially since starter Al Montoya played so well in the team’s first three games. The 26-year-old is 2-1-0 with a 1.35 GAA and .953 save percentage.
Nabokov, one of three goaltenders that...
Goaltender Evgeni Nabokov will make his first start for the New York Islanders as they face the cross-town rival Rangers on Saturday night.Nabokov will get the call in place of Al Montoya, who started the first three games and went 2-1-0 with a 1.35 goals-against average.The team's third goaltender, Rick DiPietro, is out indefinitely after taking a puck in the mask during practice...
One would expect some -- possibly all -- New York Islanders fans inside Nassau Coliseum tonight to get their Evgeni Nabokov frustrations out in the form of loud boos towards the netminder the moment he steps on to the ice before settling in and rooting for a third win in four games.
After Nabokov signed a 1-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings in January, he needed to pass through...
… I really wanted to see Al Montoya get the start against his former team but to see the new Rangers offense against a goalie like Evgeni Nabokov early in the season will be nice. It’s going to be a test, but I expect the Rangers to walk away with a win.
The Islanders are set to play their final game of a four-game homestand at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday night and goaltender Evgeni Nabokov has received the call from Head Coach Jack Cap...
The 36-year-old goalie, who declined to report to the Islanders last season, gets the victory over the New York Rangers. John Tavares has hat trick for Islanders.The 36-year-old goalie, who declined to report to the Islanders last season, gets the victory over the New York Rangers. John Tavares has hat trick for Islanders.
Islanders coach Jack Capuano announced Saturday morning that 36-year-old Evgeni Nabokov will start in the team's first game against their rival New York Rangers.
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) John Tavares had three goals, including the tiebreaking tally in the third period, and added an assist
for the New York Islanders , who beat the New York Rangers 4-2 and gave goalie Evgeni Nabokov a win in his return to the NHL
on Saturday night.
OPPONENT: New York Islanders
Leading Scorer: John Tavares (3-2-5)
Goaltender: Evgeni Nabokov (First game of the year)
Derek Stepan-Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky-Artem Anisimov-Ryan Callahan
Ruslan Fedotenko-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust
Mike Rupp-Erik Christensen-Mats Zuccarello
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Tim Erixon-Steve Eminger
Michael Del Zotto-Jeff...
John Tavares had three goals, including the tiebreaking tally in the third period, and added an assist for the New York Islanders, who beat the New York Rangers 4-2 and gave goalie Evgeni Nabokov a win in his return to the NHL on Saturday night.