Preview: Chicago at NY Islanders
When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, October 9, 2015
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York
The New York Islanders begin a new era Friday, when they host the reigning Stanley Cup-champion Chicago Blackhawks in their 2015-16 season opener. After spending their first 42 seasons in the NHL in Uniondale, the Islanders begin their first campaign in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center, home of the NBA’s Nets.
New York is coming off a disappointing first-round playoff loss to Washington in which it had an opportunity to take a 3-1 series lead but lost Game 4 at home in overtime and went on to fall in seven. Chicago raised its latest Stanley Cup banner to the rafters of the United Center on Wednesday before beginning its quest for a fourth championship in six years with a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers. With a roster that boasts offensive stars Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa and captain Jonathan Toews, the Blackhawks received their first goal of the campaign from 23-year-old rookie Artemi Panarin. The Blackhawks and Islanders split their two-game series last season, with each team winning at home and Toews and Hossa combining to score four of Chicago’s six goals in the contests.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NHL Network, CSN Chicago, MSG Plus (New York)
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (0-1-0): Panarin spent parts of seven seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League in his native Russia before signing a two-year contract with Chicago on April 29. Artem Anisimov had a forgettable debut for the Blackhawks on Wednesday. Acquired in a package from Columbus in the offseason deal that sent Brandon Saad to the Blue Jackets, the 27-year-old forward posted a team-worst minus-2 rating against the club by which he was drafted in 2006.
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (2014-15: 47-28-7, 3RD IN METROPOLITAN): The team waited an unusually long time before upgrading its roster in the offseason, signing veteran right wing Steve Bernier on Sept. 17 and defenseman Marek Zidlicky a day later. Bernier, 30, scored a career high-tying 16 goals with New Jersey last season while the 38-year-old Zidlicky recorded seven tallies – six on the power play – and 34 points with the Devils and Detroit Red Wings in 2014-15. The Islanders begin the campaign with three goaltenders after claiming J.F. Berube off waivers from Los Angeles on Tuesday.
1. Islanders captain C John Tavares finished one point behind Dallas’ Jamie Benn (87) for the Art Ross Trophy last season.
2. Chicago recalled 6-8 D Viktor Svedberg on Thursday and sent D Ville Pokka — a healthy scratch Wednesday — to Rockford of the American Hockey League.
3. Zidlicky has recorded 59 of his 85 career goals on the power play.
PREDICTION: Islanders 3, Blackhawks 2