Nabokov wins 300th

Netminder becomes the 26th goalie to reach milestone

Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 11:18 PM ET / News
By Cory Wright
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Nabokov wins 300th

Evgeni Nabokov’s first career NHL start was nearly perfect. On Jan. 19, 2000, the rookie goaltender from Kazakhstan stopped 39 shots for a shutout-tie against the Colorado Avalanche.  The only thing missing from his first start was a win.

Twelve years and 580 games later, Nabokov has 300 of them.

“It’s nice to have in the pocket,” Nabokov said. “Hopefully I have many more in front of me. So far it’s been great.”

Evgeni Nabokov won his 300th career game on Saturday, January 14th at Nassau Coliseum. Click here for photos from his career.
The milestone win came in dramatic fashion, a 4-2 victory against the Buffalo Sabres, in which Nabokov was called upon to stop 23 shots. With 1:24 remaining in the third period and the Isles up by one, Sabres sniper Thomas Vanek was awarded a penalty shot. The crowd was on their feet, chanting “Nab-by, Nab-by,” before the one-on-one showdown that saw Nabokov prevail.

“I was thinking about his 300th victory,” Jack Capuano said. “Hopefully he could go out with something that he probably wouldn’t forget… and with a minute and a half left in the game, (it’s) an elite player on a penalty shot.” 

Nabokov played himself into elite goaltending territory. He’s the 26th netminder to win 300 games, ahead of legendary names like Ken Dryden, Ron Hextall and Johnny Bower on the all-time wins list. In his next six wins, Nabokov will surpass Mike Richter (301), Turk Broda (302), Olaf Kolzig (303) and Islanders legend Billy Smith (305).

While Smith won 304 games with the Islanders, 293 of Nabokov’s wins came with his former club, the San Jose Sharks. He spent nine seasons in California, winning the Calder Trophy in 2000-01 and posting seven winning seasons. Nabokov won 40-plus games, three times, including a career-high 46 wins during the 2007-08 campaign. Paired with his 300 wins are 50 shutouts, an average of one shutout every six wins.

A workhorse, Nabokov once started 43 consecutive games and has played up to 77 games in a season. His 300th win came in his 11th straight start for the Islanders. 

“I’ve been blessed to be in the Sharks organization for a long time,” Nabokov said. “That number would not be accomplished if you don’t have a good team around. Having great people around like Warren Strelow and Wayne Thomas, the people who helped me a lot in the beginning of my career also means a lot.”

Only three active goalies have more wins than Nabokov: Roberto Luongo, Nikolai Khabibulin and the NHL’s all-time wins leader Martin Brodeur.

The 36-year-old becomes only the second goalie to reach 300 wins in an Islanders sweater, joining Smith.


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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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