Islanders 3, Predators 1

Jerry Beach, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- Centers John Tavares and Pierre-Marc Bouchard and right winger Kyle Okposo scored, and goalie Kevin Poulin carried a shutout deep into the third period as the New York Islanders snapped a four-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night at Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders, who were outscored 16-6 while going 0-4-0 on their first pointless four-game road trip since the 2009-10 season, improved to 7-9-3.
Poulin, making back-to-back starts for the second time this year, recorded 32 saves. He has allowed just one goal in three of his six starts this season.
The Predators (8-8-2) suffered their third consecutive loss and fell to 2-3-1 on a seven-game road trip -- tied for the longest trip in franchise history.
Right winger Patric Hornqvist scored with 5:30 left to give the Predators their first goal in almost three games. Nashville last scored on an empty-netter by left winger Gabriel Bourque on Nov. 6 -- a span of 174 minutes and 48 seconds.
Goalie Marek Mazanec had 30 saves in his first NHL start for the Predators.
The Islanders established the tempo right away during a first period in which they outshot the Predators 16-10, but the game remained scoreless until Tavares beat Mazanec from point-blank range with 4:30 to go before the first intermission. The goal was set up by a touch pass from center Frans Nielsen, who threaded a pair of Predators and found a wide-open Tavares.
The lead was the first for the Islanders since the second period of last Tuesday's 6-2 loss to the Washington Capitals -- a span of 233 minutes and 25 seconds.
The Islanders needed just 113 seconds to double the lead. Nielsen won a faceoff in the Islanders' zone and passed to Bouchard, who was parallel to the net. Bouchard appeared to be trying to pass to left winger Josh Bailey in front of the net, but instead the puck sailed past Bailey and landed in the lower left corner of the net.
Okposo's goal off a Tavares pass capped a transition rush by the Islanders and gave them a 3-0 lead 7:07 into the second.
After that, the only bit of suspense was whether Poulin would record his first career shutout. The Predators outshot the Islanders 11-9 in the second and 7-2 in the first seven minutes of the third, but Poulin made a number of nifty saves, including a deflection of a slap shot by center David Legwand early in the third.
The Predators finally got on the board when Hornqvist took a pass from Legwand and beat Poulin over his right shoulder. Poulin slammed his stick against the goal in frustration.
NOTES: The Islanders scratched LWs Eric Boulton and Thomas Vanek and D Radek Martinek. Vanek has missed the Islanders' last two games with an upper body injury but may be able to begin skating on Wednesday. ... The Predators scratched LW Gabriel Bourque, D Mattias Ekholm and C Mike Fisher. It was the fourth straight scratch for Fisher, who has a lower body injury. ... The consecutive starts in goal were the first for the Islanders' Kevin Poulin since Feb. 20-21, 2012, when he took losses against the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres. ... The Islanders' three-game homestand consists entirely of foes they didn't host during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. The Los Angeles Kings visit on Thursday before the Detroit Red Wings -- a former Western Conference franchise playing its first season in the Eastern Conference -- arrive Saturday. ... The Predators also embarked upon seven-game road trips last season and in 2002-03. ... Predators LW Eric Nystrom is the son of Islanders legend Bobby Nystrom, who scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal in 1980 to give New York the first of its four straight titles.

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