Nashville Predators goaltender Mike Dunham has been waiting his entire career for this opportunity.
The former backup to Martin Brodeur in New Jersey is now the Predators' top goalie. He stopped 34 of 36 shots Tuesday night, giving the Predators a 3-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes and their first victory in franchise history.
"It's City pages:
nice to play two games in a row without three weeks in between," Dunham said. "It was a good workout. I feel good right now ... That's a good sign for me, and that just shows that I'm in great shape and that I can play at this level a few games in a row."
Dunham made three first-period goals stand up.
Andrew Brunette, Denny Lambert, and J.J. Daigneault scored in a span of 7:06 in the first period to give the Predators (1-1-0) a 3-0 lead. Nashville had been shut out in its opener Saturday, and was the last NHL team to score a goal this season.
"I think everybody in the building was surprised," Dunham said. "I know Carolina was. We caught them on their heels."
Brunette got the first Predators goal at the 5:12 mark. His short shot from the right side beat Carolina goaltender Trevor Kidd, but Hurricanes defenseman David Karpa lifted the net off its moorings before the puck had a chance to go in. At first Karpa was just given a penalty, but after a check of the video replay, Brunette was awarded the goal.
Kidd, who gave up three goals on just eight shots, was then pulled in favor of Arturs Irbe. Irbe was outstanding in relief, stopping all 22 shots he faced.
Carolina (0-1-1) came close on goals by Martin Gelinas and Keith Primeau late in the first period. But the Hurricanes, who had scored three power-play goals in their opener, were 0-for-8 with the man advantage.
That was largely due to Dunham, who robbed Ray Sheppard, Sami Kapanen, and Jeff O'Neill on point-blank chances on the power play. In two games, Nashville has killed off 16 f 17 penalties.
"We're sure getting a lot of chances to work on it," Lambert said.
The Hurricanes fired 22 shots at Dunham in the last two periods and he stopped them all.
"You let a team like Carolina come at you for two periods, your goalie's going to have to make a lot of stops," Nashville center Darren Turcotte said. "And Mike was able to do that tonight."
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