Isles Files

Your source for behind-the-scenes New York Islanders hockey news and information.


Nabokov gets start over Poulin on Saturday

Evgeni Nabokov of the Islanders makes a save

Evgeni Nabokov of the Islanders makes a save in against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinalsat Consol Energy Center. (May 9, 2013) (Credit: Getty Images)

COLUMBUS --  Evgeni Nabokov gets the call on Saturday night here against the Blue Jackets, who have lost five straight.

Cue the internet outrage!

But here's the case for Nabokov on Saturday and Kevin Poulin on Sunday, in his hometown of Montreal:

-- Poulin has started on consecutive nights in the NHL just once, on Feb. 20-21, 2012. He was pulled after allowing two goals in the first 1:35 of the game against the Senators on Feb. 20, then started the next night in Buffalo. He lost both.

-- Nabokov, on the other hand, has a remarkable record in the next start after he's allowed five or more goals. Since he joined the Islanders, he's allowed five or more nine times. That's a lot, given that he's made only 95 starts as an Islander. But in the following start after allowing five or more, Nabokov is 7-0-1 with a 1.95 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage.

Those are numbers that are hard to ignore. Also hard to ignore is not wanting to overwork Poulin, who was ready to be anointed the young goaltending savior back in 2010-11 as a 20-year-old before suffering a displaced kneecap in warmups on Feb. 5, 2011.

Eric Boulton and Matt Carkner draw back in on Saturday. Boulton is in for Brock Nelson, with Cal Clutterbuck (upper body) not ready to return. Carkner subs in for Radek Martinek to give the oldest active D-man a blow. Aaron Ness stays in.

Jack Capuano said Colin McDonald will move to the right side with Michael Grabner and Peter Regin and Boulton will go with Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin.

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