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Evgeni Nabokov wants to stay 'if they need me'

Pittsburgh Penguins' Joe Vitale (46) can't get a

Pittsburgh Penguins' Joe Vitale (46) can't get a shot past New York Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov (20) during the first period of an NHL hockey game. (Oct. 27, 2011) Credit: AP

Evgeni Nabokov will start on Sunday here in Vancouver against the Canucks, his sixth start in the Isles' 14th game. That's most among the three Islanders goaltenders, even though Nabokov didn't finish two of them -- he was pulled after overtime with a lower-body injury in Pittsburgh and was pulled on Monday in Boston after allowing three goals on 12 shots.

Nabokov, with a very manageable one-year contract at $570,000, is the most attractive trade chip on the Isles roster. He never intended to be and Islander and certainly never wanted to be part of a three-goaltender rotation.

But he said this afternoon following the team's practice that Garth Snow hasn't talked to him about waiving his no-trade clause for a trade and, provided he gets time to play, he wouldn't mind remaining with the team.

"I don't want to go anywhere if they need me, let's put it that way," Nabokov said. "For me right now, it's the same approach: I come to the rink, I work hard and that's it."

In today's practice, Nabokov was working with the Isles' defensemen on communication when making plays on dump-ins. There have been a few issues with turnovers with Nabokov in net.

"I felt like I need to learn more about them, how they like to get open and where they want the puck," Nabokov said.

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