Sep 19, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Reid Boucher (59) takes a shot during the second period agains the New York Islanders at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

NYI vs. NJD: First Hockey Game at the Barclays Center

The New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils are set to go at it once again, this time playing in the first hockey game to ever be played at the brand new Barclays Center, the future home of the New York Islanders.



These lineups are based on who didn’t practice today and could be subject to changes.

Players to Watch

Right off the bat, my player to watch would have to be Cory Schneider. He posted a magnificent display Monday against the New York Rangers and coming off of Martin Brodeur’s lackluster game on Thursday, could really make a claim for more playing time throughout the season.

I’m also putting the entire defense on my radar. It isn’t the exact squad that was out there on Thursday, but the people who didn’t play Thursday can impress today and prove themselves to possibly be better than their immediate competition. More specifically, the Mark Fayne vs. Peter Harrold fight for a spot will continue tonight also. Also watch Jon Merrill and see how he can rebound from his fairly decent showing on Thursday in the 5-3 loss.

Stefan Matteau and Tim Sestito survived the first cuts (more in a second) so look for them to try to prove themselves although I don’t believe that Sestito or Matteau will be on the NHL squad come Opening Night. A little improvement never hurts though and surviving the cuts over Reid Boucher, Harri Pesonen, and Joe Whitney must count for something.

First Cuts

Devs return to juniors: Anthony Brodeur, Bell, Black, Jongson, Kujawinski, Giftopoulos. – — Tom Gulitti (@TGfireandice) September 20, 2013

It’s interesting to see talent like Boucher, Whitney, and Pesonen cut so early but DeBoer and co. could’ve easily figured that they’d rather see them develop early in Albany than waste time up here if there wasn’t a good chance of them making the team.

Final Prediction

I think that Schneider will post another gem tonight and the Devils limit the Islanders to one goal. That being said, I see them winning a close game, 2-1.

Razorgator still has tickets available for tonight’s game at the Barclays Center, so if you’re as anxious as I am to see how the arena is formatted for hockey, make sure to grab some tickets.

Tags: Cory Schneider New Jersey Devils New York Islanders

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