And then there were two: Nabokov hurt vs. Habs

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Evgeni Nabokov lasted about half of the first period against the Montreal Canadiens before he had to be helped off the ice with a groin injury. The Islanders announced that he will not return to the game and will be reevaluated on Friday.

The injury leaves the Islanders with two goaltenders left on their roster. Tonight, Rick DiPietro took over for the injured Nabokov in Long Island against Montreal. If Nabokov is forced to miss a substantial amount of time, the team will roll with DiPietro and Al Montoya until the Russian returns.

The injury is just the latest chapter in one of the most interesting goaltending situations in the NHL. Over the early part of the season, Al Montoya has been the best goaltender on the team. He has the best goals against average and best save percentage. On a slightly pathetic note, his two wins also lead all Islanders goaltenders.

Nabokov has not been overly impressive in his first active season with the Islanders. He’s only won a single game in seven starts had has battled inconsistency when he’s been in net. We’ll should find out tomorrow just how long Nabokov’s wonky groin will keep him out—but at least the Islanders have a couple of alternatives.