Nabokov started in goal for Russia at the 2006 Olympics and will be making his second Olympic appearance. In 2006, he helped lead Russia to a fourth-place finish, recording three shutouts and a 1.34 GAA in seven games. He finished second in the tournament among all goaltenders with a .940 save percentage.
At the 2008 World Championship, Nabokov led the tournament with a 1.78 goals-against average, recorded two shutouts in five games and was named the tournament’s Best Goalkeeper en route to a gold medal. He was also named Team Russia’s top player, he stopped 25 shots in the thrilling 5-4 overtime gold medal game.
Nabokov, a Russian citizen, was granted an exception by the IIHF to play for Russia after initially playing for Kazakhstan at the 1994 World Championships (C Pool).
I had one really not-good game. I came back to the hotel and he [his father] was on Skype. My mother called first and said, 'Your father wants to talk to you.' So he moved my mother away, and he yelled at me for like 30 seconds. I understood him, and then he said, 'I'm done.' And he was gone. The next game I got my first shutout.
— Anton Khudobin recalls a fond memory, explains why he was so sharp in the Hurricanes' 3-0 win against the Capitals on Friday