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Blake, Dunham lift Islanders over Bruins in home opener

Oct 15, 2006 - 1:45 AM UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- The New York Islanders had a successful homecoming thanks to Jason Blake and Mike Dunham.

Blake had two goals and an assist and Dunham earned his second straight victory as the Islanders downed the Boston Bruins, 4-1, in their home opener.

The Islanders' triumph was their second straight after opening the season with three straight defeats.

"We're just embracing the opportunities we've gotten in the past two games," Blake said. "That's definitely been the key to our wins."

"It's always nice to get the first home win, the home opener, done with," Dunham said. "I think it's a good way to kick off the seven-game homestand. You want to win games at home."

After New York's Mike Sillinger tied the game, 1-1, at 9:37 of the second period, Blake beat Boston goaltender Hannu Toivonen for a 2-1 lead just over four minutes later.

"They turned the whole game around," Toivonen said of the two quick goals. "I have to be able to make those saves at important times."

Blake gave the Islanders a 3-1 edge 46 seconds into the third when his shot glanced off Toivonen's glove and into the net.

"The first on was a good shot, but I should have had it," Toivonen said. "I made a mistake."

Dunham, who stopped 46 shots in a 5-4 shootout victory over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, had 31 saves while Toivonen made 35 stops.

"The third period was really solid tonight," Dunham said. "I think it was our best period this season. We were skating. We were hitting. We were right on top of them. We got a couple of quick goals and smothered them in the third."

Glen Murray scored the lone goal for Boston, which went 1-for-4 on the power play while Islanders were 2-for-7.

Boston limps home at 1-3-1 after a five-game road trip to start the season and plays its next six at home, beginning Thursdsay against the Calgary Flames.

"(I'm) not happy with the result, but you have to play the same amount of games at home and one the road," Boston coach Dave Lewis said. "It's going to be good to go home."

Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro, who has struggled with a 0-3-0 record, a 4.54 goals-against average and a .879 save percentage, missed the game with a groin injury.

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