Any chance of Evgeni Nabokov’s hot play slipping under the radar probably dissolved on Tuesday night.
The New York Islanders goalie was already producing some excellent work, but another masterful performance against the Philadelphia Flyers should raise his trade value to an even higher level. Nabokov stopped 45 shots as the Isles eked out a 1-0 shootout win against the Flyers. (In fact, Philly couldn’t even top Nabokov in the skills competition as he stopped Daniel Briere and Wayne Simmonds.)
Nabokov’s work against Philadelphia’s top line was impressive alone. Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr combined for a staggering 16 shots but couldn’t beat the red-hot Russian a single time.
Nabby’s outstanding run
Nabokov’s strong 2011-12 season has been undermined by playing for the struggling Islanders, but his most recent work is making him extremely difficult to ignore. He’s now 6-1-0 in his last seven games while allowing just eight goals. Nabokov has turned aside 212 out of 220 shots in that span, which translates to a .964 save percentage.
Such amazing play might make some wonder if GM Garth Snow should keep him around, but the context screams trade. He’s already 36 years old and will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, so Nabokov simply makes too much sense as a rental.
It just so happens that his price tag seems to climb with each passing game.
Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.