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Montoya to make first start for Isles

by John Kreiser /
After a couple of relief outings, Al Montoya will finally get a chance to start.

Montoya will become the sixth goaltender to start a game for the New York Islanders this season when he leads the team onto the ice for Saturday night’s game against Los Angeles at the Nassau Coliseum.

Montoya, acquired by the Islanders from Phoenix last week after a run of injuries decimated their goalie corps, relieved Nathan Lawson in the second period Feb 13 and got the win in a 7-6 overtime victory at Buffalo. He relieved Lawson again Thursday night, allowing one goal in a 6-3 loss.

He has a 2.40 goals-against average and .900 save percentage in 75 minutes of relief work.

"I thought he's played pretty well coming in for us in the games he played," coach Jack Capuano told the media after the morning skate. "He deserves an opportunity."

Montoya’s only previous NHL experience came in 2008-09, when he played four games for the Coyotes -- including a 2-1 victory against Los Angeles in his second NHL start.

The Islanders are without starter Rick DiPietro, who’s out with facial fractures, and rookie Kevin Poulin, who had assumed the starter’s job until going down with a season-ending knee injury last Tuesday.

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