Since becoming the NY Islanders' new home in 2021, UBS Arena hasn't been a friendly place to the Isles on opening night. In the team's first two openers at their new barn, they've failed to pick up a win in front of a rabid fan base.
The Isles' first game at their new home was different than any team has ever experienced. Coming off the most prolonged road trip to start a season of any team in NHL history, the Isles didn't have their home opener until November 20th. Not only did the Isles need to wait over a month for their first home game, but they played with nowhere near a full roster as COVID ravaged the team.
With names like Andy Andreoff, Richard Panik, and Grant Hutton forced into the lineup, the Isles were overmatched by the Calgary Flames, falling by a score of 5-2.
Last year, the Isles opened their season at home, hosting the Florida Panthers and Matthew Tkachuk for the second year in a row following his trade from the Flames. Despite having a full roster intact this time, the eventual Eastern Conference champion Panthers were too much to handle, getting the best of the Isles 3-1, with the Noah Dobson's power play goal being the lone tally for the Isles.
This year, the Isles host the up-and-coming Buffalo Sabres, who are coming off a lopsided defeat at the hands of the NY Rangers. While the two teams were neck and neck for a wild card spot towards the end of last season, the Isles took a stranglehold on the position following a controversial late goal by Hudson Fasching.
Outside of home openers, UBS Arena has been a friendly place to the Isles, positing a 20-16-5 record in year one and 25-13-3 in year two. The Isles look to start the season on the right foot tonight, coming away with two points at home.