Islanders Head To Nashville, Losing Streak At 5 Games
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NASHVILLE (AP) – The Nashville Predators have won their last four home games against the New York Islanders, two by shutout. Anders Lindback may give them a great chance at getting another.
The Predators look for a fourth home win in a row when they try to hand the Islanders a sixth straight loss Monday night.
Nashville (14-8-6) is missing No. 1 goaltender Pekka Rinne, out with a knee injury. The Predators have survived his absence thanks to Lindback, who has gone 3-0-1 with a 1.74 goals-against average in his last four starts.
The 6-foot-6 Swedish rookie made 22 saves in his first career shutout in a 3-0 victory over Florida on Saturday. He’s likely to be back in net Monday.
“It’s a great feeling,” Lindback said of the shutout. “The guys are doing a really great job in front of me. I only take the first shot, and if there are any rebounds that get through, they get them out for me.”
Ryan Suter had a goal and an assist while captain Shea Weber and Joel Ward scored the other goals for the Predators. Nashville has won five of six and is on a seven-game point streak.
“We got a good start and played very disciplined,” coach Barry Trotz said. “He (Lindback) made a couple of really key saves for a goaltender who didn’t have a lot of shots in the first half of the game.”
Rinne made 23 saves in a 1-0 victory over the Islanders (5-17-5) on Dec. 22, 2008, New York’s last visit. That gave Nashville four consecutive victories at home in the series.
The Predators began a stretch of five games in eight days Saturday. Trotz used four lines to keep his club fresh, and indicated he would continued to do so during this heavy span of action.
“We’re in a stretch now – from tonight to next Saturday – that we have five games in eight nights, with travel,” he said. “That’s going to be pretty taxing, so I was sort of happy to go with four lines.”
That probably means more ice time for the likes of former Islanders first-round pick J.P. Dumont, who logged 14 minutes Saturday after playing fewer than nine the previous four games. Dumont has one point in his last 12 contests.
Sergei Kostitsyn has a season-high five-game point streak for Nashville, while teammate Cal O’Reilly had his five-game run snapped Saturday.
New York fell 5-4 to Atlanta on Saturday, blowing a two-goal lead and giving up four goals in the third period.
“It’s deeply frustrating. We played really hard,” defenseman Travis Hamonic said. “We’ve got to make sure we’re prepared and make sure we keep battling.”
New York has gone 0-9-2 in its last 11 on the road, scoring two goals or fewer in its last nine away games.
Rob Schremp and Blake Comeau each had a goal and two assists Saturday while Matt Moulson had one of each to end a three-game drought without a point. Schremp has five points in his last three games.
“We worked so hard and we kept coming,” Moulson said.
Center John Tavares has no points in his last four games, and no goals in his last nine on the road.
© 2010 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.