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Isles' Nabokov stops 18 shots, blanks Lightning for 54th NHL shutout

Thursday, 03.14.2013 / 10:25 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Isles' Nabokov stops 18 shots, blanks Lightning for 54th NHL shutout

TAMPA, Fla. - Evgeni Nabokov made 18 saves for second shutout this season and 54th overall in the NHL, John Tavares scored his 17th goal, and the New York Islanders beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0 on Thursday night.

Nabokov made an in-close save on Victor Hedman in the second period, and Tavares had a power-play goal midway through the frame to help the Islanders improve to 4-1-2 over their last seven games.

Brad Boyes added an empty-net goal in the final minute of play.

Anders Lindback stopped 27 shots for Tampa Bay, which has lost eight of 10.

Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier didn't play and is out indefinitely because of an undisclosed lower body injury. Lecavalier, who was hurt Tuesday night against Florida, was placed on the injured list before Thursday's game.

New York was without speedy forward Michael Grabner, who was put on the injured list Wednesday because of a shoulder injury sustained Sunday in a game at Pittsburgh.

Tavares put the Islanders up 1-0 when he put an in-close backhander past Lindback during a power play at 10:22 of the second. Matt Moulson set up the goal with a backhanded pass from the low slot to Tavares, who was positioned near the post.

New York entered with the NHL's best road power play.

NOTES: Former Tampa Bay forward John Cullen, who won the Masterton Trophy in 1999 after returning to play after being diagnosed with cancer, dropped the ceremonial first puck. ... Tavares has eight power-play goals. ... Islanders D Colin McDonald (illness) didn't play. ... The Lightning recalled forward Tyler Johnson from Syracuse of the AHL to take Lecavalier's roster spot. Johnson made his NHL debut.

Quote of the Day

When we started our journey we made a commitment to our fans to be relevant and to see the Chicago Blackhawks become the best professional hockey organization. There are not two finer symbols of that than Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The commitment we have made to these incredible young men is equal to the commitment they have made to our team, our fans, our entire organization and the city of Chicago.

— Chicago Blackhawks owner Rocky Wirtz on signing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane to contract extensions