Evgeni Nabokov recorded his 53rd shutout, and John Tavares scored his NHL lead-tying 12th goal of the season, and the Islanders have rebounded from a miserable beginning of the week, with a 4-0 trouncing of the Buffalo Sabres.
The Isles have now won their sixth game on the road this season, and with the Mark Streit goal midway through the second period, laid a smack down on the home side. Goals by Michael Grabner, John Tavares, and Colin McDonald, gave the home fans the opportunity to boo their team.
A couple of tussles in the final seconds gave a little excitement. Ryan Miller, the Buffalo netminder got into it with Matt Martin. It even brought Nabokov over to the other side of the net.
The Isles have seen their defenseman get into the action. All six D man were involved and taking their opportunities to get into the offensive side of the game.
Nabby was OUTSTANDING! He challenged the Sabre shooters. A couple of dynamite opportunities by Drew Stafford and Tomas Vanek were denied. He stopped 35 shots.
JT made the Buffalo defense look silly when he scored his 12th. He is making his mark around the league, and teams are paying a lot of extra attention to him, but he is so strong on the puck and pushes opponents away from him.
Now the Isles have a 7 game home stand. Their current record in Uniondale is 2-6. This team really needs to use the home ice to their advantage. They have Carolina tomorrow, then Boston on Tuesday, Toronto on Thursday. Take the momentum from tonight and bring it to the next three games.
Some people may remember that I made some comments after the Devil game last week. I am going to refrain from that (OK, Mike?) and wish the team keeps their momentum from the previous game, and put it to the next one. Get the secondary scoring and get the defenseman involved. Will probably see Kevin Poulin tomorrow. He went 2-0 last season against Carolina; will we see the same tomorrow? We will see.
The “Stud” of the game. Evgeni Nabokov. No brainer here; it was his play in the second period when the Isles were killing penalties that was the difference. The Sabres are now 1 in their last 29 on the power play, and it showed. They were moving the puck around and getting chances, but they were stymied tonight by #20.
No “Duds” tonight.
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