Evgeni Nabokov was forced to leave tonight’s game between the New York Islanders and Detroit Red Wings less than five minutes in with what appears to be a groin injury of some kind. With Darren Helm streaking in and firing away, Nabokov attempted to make the stop. Not only did he give up a goal, but he appears to have injured himself in the process.
Evgeni Nabokov out after 5 minutes of play. Look like a groin. #islanders
— Renaud Lavoie (@LavoieRenaud) November 17, 2013
And a quick GIF of the play. (h/t the Score)
In Nabokov’s place is Kevin Poulin. He’s played 28 games for the Islanders over the last three seasons, and is in his fourth year with the franchise. At 23, the young netminder has considerably more upside than the veteran Nabokov, and this could be his chance to seize some starts for the Isles.
He’s only 2-5 on the season, but sports a healthy .914 save percentage to go along with a solid 2.45 GAA. Those numbers aren’t spectacular, but they’ll at least keep New York in their hockey games on a nightly basis if sustained.
To this point, Poulin has outplayed Nabokov by a pretty wide margin. Nabokov has a .894 save percentage and a 3.24 GAA. The Islanders might have been contemplating making this switch anyway, but with the typical No. 1 injured, Poulin has a chance to take the proverbial ball and run with it.