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Islanders-Kings Preview

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The New York Islanders will try to get their first win of the season on Tuesday and avoid setting a dubious franchise record.

The Islanders visit the Los Angeles Kings, hoping to prevent their first season-opening three-game losing streak since entering the NHL in 1972.

New York (0-2-0) lost 2-0 to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday after allowing first-period power-play goals to Matt Carle and Christian Ehrhoff less than four minutes apart.

"It's too easy to look at the mistakes right now (rather) than the positives," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "We need to tighten up our defense and grab some chemistry. Rick (DiPietro) played a great game. Both of the goals came quickly and he wasn't at fault."

DiPietro made 25 saves in the loss after a disappointing season debut. The goaltender was pulled after the second period of Thursday's opener, allowing six goals on 32 shots during a 6-3 loss to Phoenix.

The first overall selection in the 2000 NHL draft, DiPietro is being looked upon as the cornerstone of the franchise after signing a league-record 15-year, $67.5 million contract on Sept. 12.

He last dropped three consecutive starts during a four-game losing streak from March 28-April 6.

DiPietro has only faced the Kings once, when he was named the first star for making 29 saves in a 1-1 tie on Feb. 16, 2004 - the last meeting between the teams.

DiPietro is one of five Islanders left from that contest, including Arron Asham, who scored the lone New York goal.

The Kings (1-1-0) hope to build off of Saturday's 4-1 win over St. Louis as they play the second game of a season-high six-game homestand.

Rookie center Anze Kopitar had three assists, giving him five points in the first two games of the season. He scored two goals in a 4-3 loss to Anaheim on Friday.

"I don't think I could even dream like that," Kopitar said. "I feel real confident on the ice right now."

Kopitar, the 11th overall selection in the 2005 draft, spent the last two seasons with Sodertalje SK of the Swedish Elitserien.

A native of Slovenia, Kopitar was named the top European prospect in 2005 by the NHL's European scouting service.

"I can pretty much sum it up by saying the kid can play, he's got game," Kings center Michael Cammalleri said. "He does a lot of things very well. He's done it consistently in the exhibition season and in the first two games."

The Kings will have to decide between goalies Mathieu Garon and Dan Cloutier on Tuesday.

Garon, who was the team's starter last season, made 35 saves in Saturday's victory. Cloutier made 28 stops but also allowed four scores on Friday.

Los Angeles will try to take advantage of the Islanders' unorthodox opening schedule, which has New York playing its first four games in the Pacific Time Zone. After this road trip, the Isles will leave the Eastern Time Zone only once - a Nov. 15 contest at Dallas.

New York is just 1-for-12 on the power play through its first two games.

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