Nassau Coliseum -- Uniondale, NY
TV: MSG Plus Radio: WRHU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9 FM
[sny-box]The Least You Should Know About the Hurricanes... The Hurricanes fell to the Islanders 5-3 on Friday night in North Carolina. Nathan Gerbe, Chris Terry, and Eric Staal were the goal scorers for the Hurricanes... Two Hurricanes' players made their NHL debut on Friday against the Isles. Victor Rask and Patrick Brown made their debuts, while Brad Malone and Jay McClement made their Canes' debuts... The Hurricanes are 32-22-7-1 on the road against the Islanders.[/sny-box]
UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The beginning of the end for the Nassau Coliseum stars on Saturday, as the Islanders host the Carolina Hurricanes in their final home opener at the venue.
The Islanders will try to find the magic they had friday and carry that over to Saturday's home opener. Head coach Jack Capuano will put out the same line up as the previous game, however Chad Johnson will get the start over Jaroslav Halak. Halak made 21 saves in the 5-3 win over Carolina the night before.
Johnson is no slouch of a backup and will be equally up to the task of making the big saves for the Isles. Johnson had a strong showing during the preseason.
The Hurricanes will have the same line up as well with some small tweaks. Ryan Malone will play in place of Rob Hainsey and Anton Khudobun will be in net.
A lot of the attention for Saturday's game will be placed on the fact that it will be the final home opener in the history of the Nassau Coliseum. Ironically, this home opener will take place just 4 days after the first one occurred back on October 7, 1972. The Islanders lost that game 3-2 to the Atlanta Flames.
For their part, the players aren't trying to get swept up into the nostalgia that will be Saturday night.
"We're just focused on getting two points," Kyle Okposo said following the morning skate. "Obviously the fans are going to be fired up for the last home opener in this barn and it's our job to go out there and get a win.
"We're out there to get two points. We know the history and we can talk about the history and recap all the history when the season is over. And when we're hopefully bringing home some hardware."
The environment inside the Coliseum will undoubtable be electric. Prior to the morning skate -- which was held at 10:30 -- there were already fans in the parking lot tailgating, a tradition that has been a staple at the Nassau Coliseum.
"I think the home openers always are pretty electric our there and it's definitely an exciting one for all of us for sure," said Josh Bailey.
Below are the Isles lines and defensive pairings:Corey Conacher – John Tavares – Kyle Okposo
Mikhail Grabovski – Brock Nelson – Ryan Strome
Josh Bailey – Frans Nielsen – Nikolay Kulemin
Matt Martin – Casey Cizikas – Cal Clutterbuck
Nick Leddy – Johnny Boychuk
Thomas Hickey – Travis Hamonic
Brian Strait – Griffin Reinhart