Coming into the season, there were minor changes to the roster. The Islanders signed Semyon Varlamov from the Colorado Avalanche to a four-year contract on July 1. Two months later, the Islanders signed Derick Brassard to a one-year contract.
The Islanders also renewed the contracts of Anders Lee, Jordan Eberle, Brock Nelson, Tom Kuhnhackl and Michael Dal Colle.
After a roller coaster of an offseason, the Islanders finally made it to opening night. Nassau Coliseum hosted the festivities for the first time in five years, the last one being Oct. 11, 2014.
Fans packed the parking lot tailgating before the game and made sure the Coliseum was loud for game one of the 2019-20 season. The Islanders hosted Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals that night.
Derick Brassard made his Islanders debut and Semyon Varlamov started in net. Varlamov stopped 26 of 28 shots and the Capitals starting goalie, Ilya Samsonov stopped 25 of 26. The Islanders lost a close game to the Capitals but viewed the loss as a lesson on what to improve when the Winnipeg Jets come to the Island Oct. 6th. The final score of the game was 2-1 and the first player to score in the 2019-20 Islanders season was Devon Toews.
Next up, the Jets. Barry Trotz coached his 1,608th career game which moved him past Al Arbour. The Islanders picked up a win 4-1 to celebrate this milestone for Trotz.
The Islanders and Jets entered the second period with a score of 0-0. The Islanders made the game 3-0 by the 15:55 mark of the second. Josh Bailey, Brock Nelson and Anders Lee scored their first goals of the season.
Patrik Laine scored for the Jets to close out the period 3-1. During the third period, Anthony Beauvillier got his second point of the night by making the score 4-1. During postgame, Trotz complimented the team and was visibly and audibly happy with their performance.
That did not last long, however, as the Oilers came to town next. The Islanders lineup consisted of Semyon Varlamov making his second start of the season and Johnny Boychuk as a healthy scratch so Noah Dobson could play in his first NHL game.
The Islanders had a rough night against the Oilers, losing 5-2.
Anthony Beauvillier netted his third point of the season to make the score 1-0 in the first but the Oilers answered with two goals by the close of the period.
During the second period, James Neal of the Edmonton Oilers scored his third goal of the game giving him a natural hat trick. Barry Trotz decided to call Varlamov to the bench and put Thomas Greiss in goal.
The Islanders entered the third period down four goals. Noah Dobson recorded his first point in the NHL by assisting Matt Martin on scoring his first goal of the season. The Islanders lost the game 5-2 for Dobson’s debut but he was definitely recognized for his high talent in the locker room. Matt Martin mentioned how Dobson is going to be a key feature to the Islanders organization for awhile and Dobson acknowledged how surreal his debut felt.
Following the loss, the Islanders flew to PNC Arena to meet the Canes for the first time since round two of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Friday night.
Thomas Greiss stepped on the ice for the start of the first period. Carolina started the scoring of the game quickly into the first. Brock Nelson answered by scoring his third point of the season making the game 1-1. By the close of the first, Carolina was up over the Islanders 2-1.
Boychuk responded by blasting a slap-shot to tie the score in the beginning of the second period. The Isles held the tie for most of the second until Carolina netted two goals within the last five minutes.
The third period remained quiet on the Islanders side but Andrei Svechnikov scored off of a pass from Jordan Staal on the empty net, making the score 5-2. Greiss made 34 saves but his record on the season falls to 1-1-0.
The Islanders face the Florida Panthers tonight at the Coliseum and hope to end their two-game losing streak. Hopefully, the Islanders can improve their 2019-20 season record to 2-3-0.