Is this finally goodbye?
The New York Islanders host the New Jersey Devils in their regular-season home finale tonight at the Nassau Coliseum. More significantly, it may be the last regular-season game at the Nassau Coliseum with the Islanders scheduled to move into their new home at UBS Arena in the fall.
Like everything else surrounding the New York Islanders drawn-out arena saga, there may still be time left at the old barn on Hempstead Turnpike.
“Quite a few (memories). So many things have happened there,” Brock Nelson said about his time playing at the Nassau Coliseum. “Haven’t reflected on it, but it’s been quite a few years for me and probably a few other guys that have a lot of memories. First game for me, first goal. Some playoff series. Just big wins, big games. A lot of memories you look back on.
“It’s a special place for not just the team right now, but for the guys who have played here before, the fans and everybody in the community. I think everybody will cherish it.”
The Islanders will likely try to draw upon the occasion as they look to snap their current three-game skid as they approach the playoffs. The Islanders have dropped two games to the lowly Buffalo Sabres earlier in the week and fell to the same New Jersey Squad on Thursday.
Anthony Beauvillier was the only Islanders player to score on Thursday and Semyon Varlamov stopped 23 shots in the loss.
The Islanders’ playoff spot has all but been locked up, with the team sitting as the fourth seed. The three straight losses eliminated the team’s chances of sneaking back into a spot with a home-ice advantage.
The New York Islanders are 20-4-3 this season at the Nassau Coliseum. Thursday’s loss was only the fourth time this year that the Islanders lost in regulation on home ice.
Head coach Barry Trotz isn’t expecting a heavy game from New Jersey or the Islanders tonight when they square off. He described the previous meeting as “not very taxing.” Trotz has been switching his lineup in the final games of the regular season to try and rest some of his regular players before the postseason.
“The most important thing is to have is to get the group healthy,” Trotz said. “That’s number one. Win or lose right now it’s not going to affect what’s happening with us. I do want us to do certain things. Certain details in how we play certain situations, those protocols have to be addressed and have to be executed.”
New York Islanders Lineup (Projected)
Leo Komarov — Mathew Barzal — Jordan Eberle
Kyle Palmieri — Travis Zajac — Oliver Wahlstrom
Anthony Beauvillier — Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Josh Bailey
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech — Ryan Pulock
Nick Leddy — Scott Mayfield
Andy Greene — Noah Dobson
New Jersey Devils Lineup (Projected)
Janne Kuokkanen — Jack Hughes — Yegor Sharangovich
Pavel Zacha — Nico Hischier — Jesper Bratt
Miles Wood — Michael McLeod — Nathan Bastian
Nolan Foote — Jesper Boqvist — Andreas Johnsson
Ryan Murray — Damon Severson
Will Butcher — Jonas Siegenthaler
Kevin Bahl — Matt Tennyson
How to Watch
Tonight’s game airs locally on MSG+, MSG+2 and can be streamed on MSGGo or NHL.tv. On the radio dial, the game can be heard on 1050 AM ESPN, 88.7 FM WRHU and 103.9 FM LI News Radio.