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Nabokov wins 300th

Netminder becomes the 26th goalie to reach milestone

Saturday, 01.14.2012 / 11:18 PM / 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 NYI 47 32 14 1 155 130 65
2 DET 48 28 11 9 144 123 65
3 TBL 49 30 15 4 158 131 64
4 MTL 46 30 13 3 126 108 63
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 NYR 45 27 14 4 135 110 58
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 45 20 15 10 111 127 50
10 TOR 49 22 23 4 143 152 48
11 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
12 PHI 49 20 22 7 134 149 47
13 CBJ 46 21 22 3 117 145 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 47 22 24 -1 46
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 47 9 25 17 34
B. Nelson 47 15 15 6 30
F. Nielsen 47 9 17 5 26
J. Boychuk 37 4 20 17 24
J. Bailey 35 8 14 9 22
N. Leddy 47 7 14 15 21
N. Kulemin 47 11 9 1 20
A. Lee 41 13 5 8 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 26 9 0 .913 2.37
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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