UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The first game of the season between the New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets matches two Metropolitan Division contenders in a clash that could certainly impact the playoff picture come April.
But everyone knows the main attraction Saturday night will not be the teams but the building in which they're playing.
The Islanders make their long-awaited return to Nassau Coliseum, which was the franchise's home from the team's debut in 1972 until the spring of 2015, when they host the Blue Jackets.
Both teams were off Friday after playing Thursday, when the Islanders fell to the host Boston Bruins 2-1 in a shootout and the Blue Jackets beat the visiting Minnesota Wild 4-2.
The Blue Jackets (15-8-2) and Islanders (12-9-3) will enter Saturday separated by just five points. But the standings will be secondary for the first of the Islanders' 21 scheduled games at their new/old home.
As Islanders coach Barry Trotz walked into his post-practice press conference Friday afternoon, he began talking about the Coliseum before he even fielded a question.
"It's home," Trotz said. "Guys are excited. They did a good job. Looking forward to tomorrow. I think everybody is." >> READ MORE
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