12/23/13: NYI 3 at DET 0
The New York Islanders scored three first-period goals and Evgeni Nabokov turned in a 23-save shutout en route to a 3-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night at Joe Louis Arena. Kyle Okposo, Michael Grabner and Casey Cizikas did all of the Islanders’ scoring in a span of 5:58 in the first period.
The Isles close out 2013 with three games in four days, beginning tonight against the New Jersey Devils. It’s the first meeting of the teams since Opening Night, when the Isles prevailed in a six-round shootout. The Islanders have won three straight against New Jersey.
Nabby In Net: Evgeni Nabokov has started five straight games since returning from a groin injury. He’s gone 2-1-2 with a 1.96 goals- against average and .928 save percentage over that stretch.
Goal Streak: Thomas Vanek has three goals in his last three games. Since joining the Islanders on Oct. 27, he’s posted a team-best rate of 0.43 goals per game, while his plus-3 rating is tied for the team lead.
Back-To-Backs: The Islanders open their 10th set of back-to-back games tonight. They are 4-5-0 on the front end, and 2-5-2 on the back-end of back-to-backs this season. The club will total 16 back-to-back sets this season.
Back to Work: After four days off the Islanders are effectively kicking off the second third of the season. The Islanders have 22 more games until the next checkpoint, the Olympic break.
Picking up Points: The Islanders are 3-2-2 in their last seven games, with wins over the Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers and San Jose Sharks.
Second Line: The Islanders second line is heating up.Frans Nielsen is riding a four-game point streak (2g/2a), Michael Grabner has points in three of four (3g/1a) and Josh Bailey has assists in three straight.
Josh Bailey – 9 assists shy of 100
The Islanders and Devils game is set to air on the MSG Plus Network, with face-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m.