A great outing from goaltender Evegni Nabokov and a crucial shootout goal from John Tavares helped the New York Islanders snap a three-game losing streak on Sunday. The Islanders got their ninth win of the season by besting the Ottawa Senators, only their fifth win in the past month. Nabokov made 29 saves and stopped Jakob Silfverberg and Daniel Alfredsson in the shootout to help preserve the win. In addition to his performance, the team saw a pair of top forwards contribute offensively for the first time in a few games, hopefully a promising sign of things to come.
With Tavares held off the scoresheet during the game, it was up to other Islanders forwards to score goals. Brad Boyes got his fifth goal of the season to open the scoring and end an eight-game scoring drought. Matt Moulson had an assist on Boyes’ goal, his team-leading 14th of the season. Michael Grabner had the other goal for the Islanders, and while it was his eighth of the season it was his first in four games and just his second in the Islanders’ last eight games.
Early in the season, the Islanders were near the top of the league in goals per game, but have now slid to 12th. The team relies heavily on Moulson and Tavares, and it was a good sign on Sunday to see Grabner and Boyes get back in on the action. With a tough week on tap, the Islanders will need some more big games from Nabokov, and will likely give Kevin Poulin another start at some point during the week. The Islanders host the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Washington Capitals this week before traveling to face the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.