UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Evgeni Nabokov's return didn't last long.
The New York Islanders goaltender left the game Saturday night against the Detroit Red Wings 4:12 into the first period with a groin injury and didn't return.
Coach Jack Capuano said after the Islanders' 5-4 shootout victory that he had no update on Nabokov's condition, other than that he would be re-evaluated Monday, but that he expected the 38-year-old goaltender to miss "at least a couple of weeks."
Nabokov went down in an effort to stop Darren Helm's shot on a 2-on-0 break. Helm scored to tie the game nine seconds after Islanders captain John Tavares opened the scoring. Nabokov didn't get up. He was helped off the ice and replaced by Kevin Poulin, who made 19 saves.
"He means a lot to this team, all of us," Islanders captain John Tavares said. "Not everyone knows how much he does for us in this room. He's important."
Nabokov had not played since a 5-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets last Saturday. Poulin had started the following three games.