Evgeni Nabokov beat the Flyers 1-0 in a shootout in Philadelphia tonight. Nabokov played his best game as a member of the Islanders, stopping all 45 shots the Flyers threw his way.
Meanwhile, the Islanders offense only managed to post 18 shots on Ilya Bryzgalov who has stuggled for the Flyers lately.
The Islanders won in a shootout, with Frans Nielsen and John Tavares scoring two goals, but the main reason the Islanders won was Nabokov.
Nabokov stood on his head to make up for a battered and bruised defense. Travis Hamonic missed tonight's game with a broken nose after taking a shot to the face last game. Milan Jurcina missed his second game in a row with a laceration to his elbow. Aaron Ness made his NHL debut tonight to fill in for Hamonic. In the second period, an already weak defense was made even weaker when Dylan Reese left the game with a knee injury. The Islanders were forced to play the rest of the game with four NHL defenseman, and a kid making his NHL debut.
But that didn't bother Nabokov. It only made him play better. He withstood a barrage of shots all game long and didn't flinch. He just made big save after big save. He even made two saves after the buzzer rang to end the third period. Those saves won't be added to his total, however.
Hanging on the coattails of Nabokov's amazing play was the Islanders offense. The Islanders couldn't muster a goal through the first 65 minutes of play, but were still able to come out of Philly with two points. And for a team still clinging to their playoff hopes, those points are huge.
The Islanders resigned Frans Nielsen to a four-year contract extension. Aaron Ness played 14:25 in his NHL debut. Andrew MacDonald led the Islanders in ice time with 29:19.