The NHL season is finally underway, but the opening week of play didn’t fare too well for the Islanders. New York has 13 straight games on the road before UBS Arena finally opens their doors in November, and the first two couldn’t have gone much worse.
The season opener brought the Islanders to Carolina, where they took on a young and hungry Hurricanes team. A few shots were put on goal for both teams, but it was the Islanders striking first with Mathew Barzal getting the first of the season, assisted by Andy Greene and newcomer Kyle Palmieri.
Not much later, Canes star Andrei Svechnikov leveled the score, and a goal from former Ranger Jesper Fast gave Carolina a 2-1 lead, which they took into the first intermission.
Carolina scored two more times in each of the next two periods, going on to win 6-3. Svechnikov finished with a three-point game, scoring twice and setting up Carolina’s fifth goal.
In Florida, the Isles were able to match their opponent’s chances, but not their production. After being outshot 41-28 in their opener, they managed one more shot than the Panthers.
For Florida, Sergei Bobrovsky kept New York off the board while Sam Bennett put on a show offensively with his second career hat trick. No Islander could match either performance as New York were shut down 5-1.
After the loss it was back on the plane for New York, heading to Chicago before traveling to Columbus and then the Southwest.
There was no secret that starting the season with a lengthy road trip was a difficult task, but the Islanders have plenty of time to find their form before they return home. When they do, they’ll be greeted by 17,000 fans as UBS Arena opens its doors.
On November 20th, the brand new arena will welcome the New York crowd for the first time as the Islanders take on the Calgary Flames. The Islanders have three more home games afterwards, including a November 24th matchup with the Rangers.
With their home rocking, the Islanders can look forward to another strong season as they try to make the Stanley Cup Final after falling short to the Tampa Bay Lightning in back-to-back years.
While there’s little shame in falling to the two-time champions, New York is hungry to get their chance to end the city’s championship drought and bring a title to their new home.