Who would have thought that the Islanders would have the Flyers number in Philly this year?
After one of the best goaltending performances in the NHL this year, the Islanders found a way to sneak out a shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday in Philly. Evgeni Nabokov made a season high 45 saves for the Islanders as they'd go on to beat the Flyers 1-0 in the shootout. Frans Nielsen and John Tavares scored for the Islanders while Danny Briere and Wayne Simmonds were stopped by Nabokov.
This was a tough one for the Isles who were outplayed almost the entire game. Without their #1 defenseman Travis Hamonic and playing without the injured Dylan Reese for a period, Nabokov was peppered all game and didn't seem to have much help. Poor defense and a few giveaways by Mark Streit didn't help the cause either. By the end of overtime, the Islanders offense which seems to have stagnated once again, only managed 18 shots on Bryzgalov. Simply put, it was almost like a practice session for the Flyers. It's understandable that the defense was weak due to injuries, but there is absolutely no excuse for getting shut out for the 10th time this year.
There is simply not much to describe Nabokov right now. He's started 25 games and has a cool GAA of 2.23 and a save percentage of .923. Trading him would be a miserable, terrible mistake by Snow as the team just got back to .500.
One positive note that was released before the game was that Frans Nielsen has decided to remain with the Islanders for 4 more years, signing a 4 year, 11M contract with a cap hit of 2.75m. As with Okposo, Tavares and Grabner, the deal is backloaded.
It's still shocking to see the Islanders won this game, but you take it and run with it. The offense needs to be better against Montreal on Thursday at the Coliseum. Game time is 7 PM and will be on MSG+2.