Published October 12, 2013
| Sports Network
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Islanders hope to rebound from their first regulation loss of the season when they visit the Nashville Predators for Saturday's contest at Bridgestone Arena.
The Islanders began the season 2-0-1 -- the club's best start since the 2001-02 campaign -- before dropping a 3-2 road decision Friday night against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. Duncan Keith notched a pair of assists for Chicago and Nikolai Khabibulin needed to make just 17 saves to earn the win.
"We talked about how we needed to close quicker and take away their time and space," Isles head coach Jack Capuano said of his team's performance against the Hawks. "I thought it was a function of us not moving our feet."
New York failed to register a point for the first time in four outings this season after managing just a goal each from Josh Bailey and Kyle Okposo, which came within a 49-second span late in the opening period.
Kevin Poulin turned back 25-of-28 chances in his first action of the season, but No. 1 goaltender Evgeni Nabokov will be back in the crease on Saturday.
After completing a brief two-game road trip on Saturday the Isles will play their next four games on home ice. The homestand is set to begin Tuesday against the Buffalo Sabres.
New York had a solid 14-6-4 record as the visiting team last season, but the Isles haven't won a road game against Nashville since the 2001-02 campaign.
The Predators have lost three of four games to begin the season and were shut out by the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs in their most recent outing on Thursday.
Nashville fired 36 shots on goal Thursday, but Jonathan Bernier stopped every one to help the Maple Leafs record a 4-0 victory over the Predators. Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk combined for a pair of second-period goals for Toronto in the win.
Pekka Rinne, meanwhile, was tagged for all four goals on 26 shots in the loss for Nashville, which was coming off a 3-2 win over Minnesota in its home opener.
The Predators are in the midst of a five-game homestand and will host Florida and Los Angeles after Saturday's game against the Islanders.
Nashville has dominated the Isles in recent years, taking two in a row and seven of the last eight meetings between the clubs. New York also has dropped five in a row on the road in this series and hasn't won in the Music City since posting a 5-2 decision on April 11, 2002.