Washington (2-0-0) at New York (2-0-0)

Fair Currently: Uniondale, NY
Temp: 39° F
  • Game info: 2:00 pm EDT Mon Oct 8, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Mike Comrie has provided an instant impact with his new team, leading the New York Islanders to their best start in six years.

Alex Ovechkin, meanwhile, is leading the rejuvenated Washington Capitals to their best start in five.

Comrie and the Islanders and Ovechkin and the Capitals look to continue their fast starts when they meet at Nassau Coliseum on Monday.

Comrie signed as a free agent with New York in the offseason after totaling 20 goals and 25 assists for Phoenix and Ottawa in 2006-07. He scored two goals for the second straight game in Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Buffalo, as the Islanders completed a sweep of the season-opening, home-and-home series against the Sabres.

Comrie and his line of captain Bill Guerin and Ruslan Fedotenko have already combined for 16 points after putting up three goals and seven assists in a 6-4 win at Buffalo on Friday. The Islanders are 2-0-0 for the first time since winning the first four games of 2001-02.

“As long as we compete every night, we know we have a chance to win,” Comrie told the team’s official Web site. “There are still 80 games to go, so we haven’t accomplished a lot, but we’re going in the right direction.”

Goaltender Rick DiPietro made 30 saves Saturday, and has stopped 52-of-58 shots in winning two games this season.

DiPietro went 3-0-1 with a 1.47 goals-against average against the Capitals last season, and is 6-2-1 with a 1.99 GAA in his career against them—his best GAA against any Eastern Conference opponent.

The Islanders went 3-0-1 against Washington last season, and have won eight of the last 10 meetings. They have also won five straight home games over the Capitals.

Washington defeated Carolina 2-0 on Saturday, improving to 2-0-0 for the first time since winning its first three games in 2002-03—the last time it reached the postseason.

“We play better as a team,” said Ovechkin, who helped preserve Olaf Kolzig’s shutout by blocking a shot in the closing seconds. “We play better for each other.”

Ovechkin scored his first goal of the season Saturday, giving him 200 points in his brief NHL career. The 2005-06 NHL rookie of the year has 99 goals and 101 assists in 165 career games, and only Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby got to the 200-point mark in fewer games (142) among active players.

Ovechkin had two goals in four games against the Islanders last season, and has four goals and two assists in seven career games against them.

Kolzig made 23 saves against the Hurricanes for his 35th career shutout.

He went 1-1-0 with a 1.93 GAA in two games against the Islanders last season, and is 25-9-0 with two ties and a 2.27 GAA against New York in his career. He also has 25 wins against Carolina, matching his highest total against any opponent in his 13-year career.

The Capitals were tied with Philadelphia for the East’s worst road record last season (11-23-7), and have not opened a season with consecutive wins on the road since 2002-03.

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Monday, Oct 8