Saturday, September 21, 2013

Islanders, Devils ready to make NHL history at Barclays Center

The New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils will make ice hockey history when they meet Saturday night in the first-ever NHL game played in Brooklyn. Despite the game's historic implications, the Isles are preparing for their Saturday night contest at Barclays Center as they would any other exhibition game.

The preseason contest between the Devils and Islanders will be the first NHL game to take place in the borough of Brooklyn, as well as the first hockey game played at Barclays Center.

The exhibition match up will be a glimpse of what the Islanders' familiar orange and blue uniforms will look like in their new surroundings when the team permanently moves into their Brooklyn home in 2015.

Although it wont be the first time the Islanders have skated on the Barclays Center ice.

The Islanders opened training camp last Thursday with a practice at the Barclays Center. Now the team will get a feel for what it is like to play in front of a crowd in Brooklyn.

"I think everyone is looking forward to playing that game," forward Colin McDonald said after Friday’s practice at Nassau Coliseum. "Obviously it’s going to give us a little sneak peak of what’s to come in two years. I thought we had a lot of fun just even in the opening of training camp there and seeing the new building. It will be nice to see what it’s like with all the lights on and the scoreboard going, and obviously the fans in there."

Last week, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said that over 10,000 tickets had been sold for Saturday’s game.

The Islanders don't want the significance of history overshadowing their primary goal.

"For us, we want to execute," head coach Jack Capuano said. "We want to play a little bit better with the vets that will be playing than we did in Calgary and Regina. That’s what I want to see."

"We’re not just playing these preseason games to play. We’re trying to win these games and get better as a team," agreed McDonald. "So that’s going to be our main focus when we get there tomorrow."

The Islanders are 1-2-0 during the exhibition season after beating New Jersey 5-3 on Thursday in Newark. The Devils are 1-1-0 in the preseason.

The Islanders will have a morning skate tomorrow at Nassau Coliseum, before heading to Brooklyn for the game.

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