The Islanders defeated the Hurricanes 4-3 in the second of a home and home with Carolina, and the final home opener in Nassau Coliseum history. The win was helping meaning in two distinct ways. One being the Islanders getting a win on a night when was so important to the fans and the other being that they began to establish a winning culture at home.
Home victories were hard to come by last season for the Isles, so to get one early is a step in the right direction.
"It's nice to come out here for the season opener to a packed house and play a strong game," Brock Nelson, who had a goal and an assist in the win, said. "We had the two goal lead -- a lot of people criticized us for that last year -- and I think this time around we were able to get some offensive zone time in the third. Grind them down a little bit and we ate a lot of clock there in the third which helped. They kind of got a luck goal there on the third goal, but we stayed with it and stayed focused. We were able to get the job done."
Chad Johnson was a big part of why the Islanders were able to grab the victory in the home opener. The new Isles net minder made 21 saves, which was ironically the same amount that Jaroslav Halak made on Friday night, and had some big stops when he needed to.
"It was good to get the two points," Johnson said. "Gave them a little bit of life there with that last goal, but just sort of a miscommunication and a bad play on my part. But I thought we competed real hard. We really improved on our penalty kill late in the game there and had some big kills. We just stuck together and got the big win."
It is only game one at the Coliseum, but the win was a good sign from a team that needs to get victories at home to make the playoffs. Not to mention the significance to the fans as they begin their long good byes to the Coliseum.