Another start for the kid: Poulin gets the nod over Nabokov in Carolina

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We’re not sure if this qualifies as a goalie controversy quite yet, but tonight in Carolina, Kevin Poulin will make his second start in the Islanders’ past three games.

In Poulin’s last outing, on Saturday versus Boston, he stopped 26 of 27 shots in a 3-1 victory over the Bruins. However, despite that solid effort, Isles head coach Jack Capuano went back to regular starter Evgeni Nabokov Tuesday in Washington, where the 38-year-old veteran allowed six goals on 39 shots in a 6-2 defeat.

Nabokov’s struggles (5-4-3, .897 SV%) have many Isles fans calling for Capuano to give 23-year-old Poulin (1-2-0, .907) more time in the net. (That, or they’re calling for general manager Garth Snow to make a trade for a goalie.)

Combined, Nabokov and Poulin have registered a .897 save percentage, which ranks the Isles 26th in the NHL. With the Rangers showing signs of life recently, the Isles’ hold on a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference has become a tenuous one.

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