This isn’t the start that the Islanders were hoping for in Brooklyn. On Saturday night, the Islanders faced the New Jersey Devils in the first ever NHL game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and lost by a score of 3-0 .
After playing Poulin in net on Thursday night, the Islanders turned to veteran goaltender Evgeni Nabokov for Saturday night’s game. Following an Islanders penalty, the Devils got on the board at 10:14 of the first period with a goal from Jacob Josefson. Patrick Elias scored the second goal for the Devils at the five minute mark of the second period. The Devils finished off the scoring in the third period on a powerplay goal from Steve Bernier. Despite a few great saves from Nabokov, he let in three goals on 25 shots. Cory Schneider got the shutout for the Devils, stopping all 26 shots he faced.
It’s not as if the Islanders didn’t have many scoring chances, rather they failed to capitalize on five power play opportunities and were unable to maintain pressure on the Devils throughout the game. Several Islanders came close, but the puck couldn’t make its way to the back of the net.
A scary moment for the Islanders came during the third period, when Kyle Okposo was hit in the face with a high stick from Devils defenseman Jon Merrill. No penalty was called but Okposo left the ice with a trainer and did not return. Although Okposo has had slow starts in his last couple seasons, he finished the 2012-13 season on a high note.
#Isles Kyle Okposo, who caught a stick to the face (no penalty) in third period and left the game, had a few stitches in swollen left eye
— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) September 22, 2013
The Barclays Center, located in Brooklyn, will be the new home of the Islanders come 2015. This pre-season game, originally scheduled for last year but postponed due to the lockout, gave the fans and players a chance to get the full game day experience in their future home arena. With the logo down on the ice, Sparky the Dragon walking around the arena, and the organist playing all the fan favorites, the Barclays Center almost felt like home – almost.