Islanders Begin 2013-14 Season in Newark Against Their Division Foe Devils

It’s like Christmas morning for the Isles faithful. After 5 long months of no meaningful hockey games for the New York Islanders the wait is over.  The Islanders begin the 2013-14 season tonight at a sold out Prudential Center against the new look New Jersey Devils.

The former Atlantic Division foes are now Metropolitan Division rivals and both franchises have their sights set on finishing as a top seed of the new realignment structure.

The Devils began their season last night with a tough 3-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, with their newly acquired goalie Corey Schneider taking the loss.  Schneider’s start ended an unprecedented streak of 18 straight season openers started by the soon to be Hall of Famer, Martin Brodeur.  Brodeur will man the pipes against Evgeni Nabokov of the Islanders.

The game will begin at 7:00pmEST in Newark, NJ, but for of those of you not lucky enough to make the trip, it can be seen on MSG+(Islanders) & MSG(Devils) and heard on WRHU88.7FM/WRCN103.9(Islanders) & WFAN101.9FM/660AM(Devils).

The Devils(0-1-0, 0 points) are will be playing in the 2nd game of back to back games and the much younger Islanders look to take advantage with their blaring speed and quickness.  For the Devils, after coming up empty on all 27 of their shots last night, they look to control the tempo, keep the puck away from the talented forwards of New York, and test their defense and goalie.  The Devils are still searching for a source of offense after their leading scorer, Ilya Kovalchuk, skipped town to go home to Russia's KHL. 

Tonight will mark the first game of the captaincy of John Tavares.  The Captain seems primed for another Hart Trophy like season.  In an interview in Newsday on 10/3 Tavares stated his expectations for the start of this season, “We're trying to carry over the way we played last year, what we individually brought to the table.  You really could feel how we came together as a team and the sense we got in the room before games, how confident we felt by the end of the season.”

If these words can ring true throughout the locker room and the team follows his lead, the Islanders will be playing inspired hockey all season long and they will be a force to be reckoned with.   

Islanders 3 Keys to the Game:

  1.  Control the puck in the Devils zone and force Brodeur to make saves.  Marty did not see much action throughout the preseason, but the time that he was in goal, he was over whelming unimpressive.
  2. Start fast and use their speed to force odd man rushes just like the Penguins did all night last night.  Pittsburgh outshot New Jersey 12-6 and led 2-0 after the 1st period.
  3. Use the same formula that they used last season on the power play when they were ranked in the top 10 in the NHL.

Projected Lineup (According to Dailyfaceoff.com):

26 Moulson-91 Tavares(C)-21 Okposo(A)

12 Bailey-51 Nielsen-40 Grabner

29 Nelson-16 Regin-96 Bouchard

17 Martin-53 Cizikas-13 McDonald

 

47 MacDonald(A)-3 Hamonic

14 Hickey-11 Visnovsky

37 Strait-46 Donovan

 

20-Nabokov

60-Poulin

 

Scratched: 36-Boulton, 7-Carkner, 8-Reinhart

IR: 15-Clutterbuck

 

-Chad DeCarlo

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