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Predators-Islanders Preview

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Backup goaltender Mike Dunham led the New York Islanders to their first two wins of the season. When the Isles continue their seven-game homestand Monday, they hope their No. 1 goalie is available to try for his first victory when they take on the Nashville Predators.

Dunham, in his first year with New York (2-3-0), has started the Islanders' last two games in place of Rick DiPietro, listed as day-to-day with a minor groin strain.

Dunham, a 10-year veteran who was signed to a one-year contract in September, followed up his 46-save performance in Wednesday's 5-4 shootout victory at Anaheim by stopping 31 shots to lift the Islanders to a 4-1 home win over Boston on Saturday.

The Islanders erased a 1-0 deficit against the Bruins by scoring twice in short spans in both the second and third periods. They limited Boston to 15 shots over the final 40 minutes, including only five in the third period - a defensive effort that Dunham hopes his team will be duplicating for DiPietro shortly.

"I hope Rick gets back soon," said Dunham, who has a 2.08 goals-against average. "He's a big part of this team."

Whether DiPietro will return against the Predators, Dunham's former team, is uncertain. Dunham could get a third straight start with a chance to even New York's record after it opened 0-3 for the first time in franchise history.

Dunham is 1-1 with a 3.00 GAA in two career starts against Nashville.

Whoever is in net for the Islanders on Monday will be trying to shut down a Predators club that earned it first win Saturday after also opening the season 0-3.

Scott Hartnell and Paul Kariya scored goals to help Nashville beat Phoenix 4-1.

Tomas Vokoun made 29 saves for the Predators, who finally got in the win column after posting their best season in 2005-06, when they went 49-25-8.

"We are a good team," Vokoun said. "There is no question about that. We can put the puck in the net. We have a lot of guys who are great defensively. You just have to have everybody pull in the same direction and believe in the same things. I don't care who we play. If we play within our system we are fine."

Vokoun limited the Coyotes to one first-period goal after surrendering 13 goals in his first two starts.

Nashville will look to continue its vastly improved play on the penalty kill. The Predators allowed a stunning seven goals in 10 power-play opportunities in the first two games, but have given up only one in eight chances in the last two contests.

The Predators will be looking to extend their three-game winning streak against the Islanders. Vokoun started each of those contests, and is 4-2 with a 2.33 GAA in his career against New York.

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