Nabokov & DiPietro combine for point in SO loss

Evgeni Nabokov battled through injury to make 30 saves through OT, Rick DiPietro relieved him for the shootout

Friday, 10.28.2011 / 3:53 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
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Nabokov & DiPietro combine for point in SO loss
Islanders goaltender Evgeni Nabokov was one of the best players on the ice Thursday night in Pittsburgh. He played all 65 minutes leading up to the shootout and made 30 saves, keeping the score tied at 2, before Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano was forced to make a difficult coaching decision, asking Rick DiPietro to step into the crease for the shootout.

“(Nabokov) battled for us as long as he could,” Capuano said. “I could have taken him out before that, but he battled and at that point in time I thought it was best for the team and for Nabby. He gave us everything he had and that’s why the decision was made.”

I think maybe during the third period, there was a situation we were talking about (taking him out of the game), but Nabby wanted to battle and stay in there so, a total team guy, wanted to do it for his teammates. - Jack Capuano
Capuano described Nabokov’s will to stay in the game and compete for his teammates commendable, as he fought through a “lower body” injury, which the coach became aware of late in regulation.

“I think maybe during the third period, there was a situation, we were talking about (changing goalies), but Nabby wanted to battle and stay in there so, a total team guy, he wanted to do it for his teammates.”

Nabokov is not expected to practice for the next few days, but is listed as “day-to-day.”

No doubt an unconventional move, DiPietro took the ice in relief of Nabokov solely for the shootout, which was coincidentally DiPietro’s first action of the season.

“He did an outstanding job,” Capuano said of DiPietro. “You could see the fire in his eyes when he went in there. We didn’t score a goal in the shootout and the (Evgeni) Malkin goal that went in, just slipped under his pad. I thought he read it really well and unfortunately we couldn’t get one (goal) for Ricky.”

DiPietro, who backed up Al Montoya in the Islanders first two games of the season, sustained a concussion during practice Wednesday, Oct. 12 after taking a slap shot above the brow. Tuesday night’s game was his first time back on the bench.

Evgeni Malkin scores a shootout goal on Rick DiPietro on October 27, 2011 at Consol Energy Center. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)
“One thing this whole plague of injuries has taught me is ‘enjoy each day and each chance you get to lace them up,’” DiPietro said. “You never know, chances to get a slap shot to head, you never know if something bad is going to happen to you. I’m happy to be a part of (this team) and contribute any way I can.”

Luckily, DiPietro knew midway through the third period that he might be called upon. Even though he came off the bench cold to relieve the injured Nabokov, he was focused and ready to play.

“The concussion was a setback, but it’s behind me now and I’m ready to move on,” DiPietro said.

Capuano said, “We have three quality goaltenders and I believe that (DiPietro) is ready now. He’s focused and healthy and he’ll get his opportunity shortly.”

The team will announce Saturday morning whether DiPietro or Montoya will get the start against San Jose.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 74 46 20 8 195 162 100
2 NYR 72 46 19 7 219 167 99
3 TBL 74 46 21 7 242 191 99
4 NYI 74 44 25 5 226 205 93
5 PIT 73 40 22 11 202 181 91
6 DET 72 39 21 12 208 195 90
7 WSH 73 39 24 10 212 180 88
8 OTT 72 37 24 11 212 190 85
9 BOS 73 36 25 12 193 190 84
10 FLA 73 33 26 14 180 201 80
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 73 31 31 11 164 186 73
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 72 26 36 10 165 199 62
15 TOR 74 27 41 6 193 237 60
16 BUF 73 20 46 7 138 245 47

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 74 34 40 2 74
K. Okposo 52 15 31 -7 46
R. Strome 73 15 30 19 45
B. Nelson 74 18 22 9 40
F. Nielsen 73 12 28 9 40
A. Lee 68 23 16 15 39
J. Bailey 62 15 22 8 37
J. Boychuk 64 7 25 12 32
N. Leddy 70 10 19 18 29
T. Hamonic 64 5 24 15 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 35 15 2 .914 2.38
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

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