By: David Kolb
NEW YORK ISLANDERS (0-2-0) vs. ANAHEIM DUCKS (0-2-0)
The Islanders return to Barclays Center tonight for their home opener, as they host the Anaheim Ducks in the first-of-two contests to be played this season. Both the Islanders and the Ducks are looking for their first win of the season, as the Isles were edged by the Capitals 2-1 on Saturday, while the Ducks fell 3-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
ISLANDERS KEYS FOR SUCCESS
The Isles will try and utilize their crowd to their advantage and hope to light the lamp first to keep the home fans buzzing. Although, that might be wishful thinking as the Isles have not scored the opening goal in either tilt thus far.
For success, the Islanders need their captain John Tavares to be on his game. Through two contest, JT is still pointless and owns a minus-3 rating. The hope is that he gets comfortable with his new linemates Andrew Ladd and Jason Chimera — quickly!
KEYS TO STOPPING THE DUCKS
Much like the Islanders, the Ducks, depend on their skilled veterans to carry the offensive load. Through two games, Ryan Getzlaf is without a goal and Cory Perry has tallied only one score. Look for Travis Hamonic to play across from both Perry and Getzlaf, who line together.
The Ducks start the season on the road for five games. After dropping the first two contests against both Pittsburgh and Dallas, it will be advantageous for the Islanders to get a jump on the Ducks early.
The Tavares line has yet to produce, however Isles coach Jack Capuano has not had the last change on home ice to create favorable matchups for his captain. Look for JT to gain those positive matchups tonight and get on the scoreboard for the first time this season.