The New York Islanders hosted the New Jersey Devils at the Barclays Center during the first ever NHL game in Brooklyn Saturday night, but the Isles were stale and lifeless during a 3-0 loss where the most impressive thing was how bad their power play was.
The crowd, an estimated 74 percent of which was from Long Islander, according to Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark, was energized and thrilled to check out the Islanders’ future digs as 14,689 of them packed themselves into an arena build for 15,813. Even though it was a regular season crowd it was clearly a preseason game with the Islanders showing no life until the final two minutes of the game when a couple of fights broke out.
Devils goalie Cory Schneider, who faced almost no sustained pressure all game, stopped all 26 shots including a big one against Pierre-Marc Bouchard early in the contest and a beautiful chance by Matt Moulson off a feed from John Taveres. It’s weird not seeing Martin Broduer in net, although this was just a preseason game, but its certain he liked what he saw out of Schneider.
Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov was not nearly as impressive as he allowed an early goal to Jacob Josefson at 10:14 in the first on a rebound at his doorstep. He was then beaten high on his glove side by Patrick Elias to make it 2-0 in the second period. Steve Bernier added a third in the final period.
Fans booed here and there in the third period and many started leaving with eight minutes still left in the game. It’s hard to blame them though because there was almost nothing to cheer about until the Islanders’ Justin Johnson fought Cam Janssen with 1:43 left and Travis Hamonic fought Ryan Carter during the final minute.