Pre-Game : New York Islanders Vs New Jersey Devils

By Andy Graziano

New York Islanders (0-0-0) @ New Jersey Devils (0-1-0)

Prudential Center, Newark NJ 7pm EST

The waiting is over. The time has arrived to finally drop the puck on the 2013-14 New York Islanders season as they travel to Newark, NJ to take on the Devils. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 pm EST.

Now we all know we will have to wait a little while longer as the traditional home opener ceremonies will be going on for New Jersey and that will only heighten the anxiety that a long summer has created.

But fret not, Islanders nation….By 7:30pm a lot of our off-season questions will begin to tell their own story on the ice as the team that Garth built begins their road back to the Stanley Cup playoffs.

New Jersey is coming off a 3-0 defeat last night at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins and will be looking to recover in front of their home fans. The Islanders, meanwhile, will look to build off last season’s success and come out of the gate quickly, a fact that is surely not lost on the coaching staff.

This marks the first of five meetings between the clubs as New York opens their 42nd season in the National Hockey League. The Islanders hold a 117-76-29 all-time record vs New Jersey and were 3-2-0 against them last season.

John Tavares will lead the team in his first ‘official’ game as newly appointed captain and will be attempting to  correct an opening night record that stands at 9-21-10 all time.

Brock Nelson, coming off last season’s 8 minute run in the playoffs, will be in the starting lineup as well as defenseman and highly touted prospect Matt Donovan. Expect Donovan to see power play time as well with the second unit.

Evgeni Nabokov will start in goal and Eric Boulton, Matt Carkner and Griffin Reinhart have been announced as scratches.

UPCOMING MILESTONES (Courtesy of NHL Media Game Notes)

Frans Nielsen – 4 points shy of 200

Jack Capuano – 5 games shy of 200

John Tavares – 9 games shy of 300

Thomas Hickey – 11 games shy of 50

Travis Hamonic – 17 games shy of 200

Keep it right here for the post-game report, ‘Snap Shots’ by our own Rich Dias.