for this game

Defense dominates early as Islanders beat Hurricanes

Nov 23, 2006 - 3:33 AM UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- New York Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro was very lonely early. But he will take it every time.

Shawn Bates scored the game's first goal and DiPietro faced just 15 shots as the Islanders posted a 4-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes

Jason Blake scored his team-leading 12th goal and Alexi Yashin had a goal and an assist for the Islanders, who started a three-game homestand.

"We had a great first shift and never looked back," Blake said. "The key was getting the second and third shots on goal. It was a great team win."

New York dominated the opening period, collecting the first 17 shots and outshooting the Hurricanes, 20-1. DiPietro made his first save with 1:47 left.

The Islanders allowed three goals in the first 9:23 of a loss at Toronto on Monday. Coach Ted Nolan pressed to make sure his team broke quickly from the gate.

"We addressed that this morning (at practice)," Nolan said. "We had it going from the get-go."

"This was one of our top two or three games of the year," Islanders defenseman Sean Hill said.

The Islanders tied a franchise record for fewest shots allowed in a period, most recently on October 10, 2002 at Buffalo.

Bates scored his second goal of the season and first since October 28, beating overworked John Grahame off a cross-ice pass from Richard Park to open the scoring 2:53 into the contest.

The Islanders had a 17-6 edge in shots in the second session before Blake tallied six minutes into the third period. Yashin made it 3-0 when he scored midway through the period, just his second tally in the last nine games.

"I don't think we played well at all," said Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette, who coached the Islanders from 2001-03 and fell to 4-4-1 against his former team. "John Grahame kept us in the game. It could have been a lot worse."

Scott Walker spoiled the shutout when he tipped in a shot by Rod Brind'Amour less than two minutes later to make the score 3-1.

Grahame stopped 44 shots.

"We win as a team and we lose as a team," Grahame said. "It's very embarrassing as far as the team goes, "We have to take it personally."

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