The Islanders will finally start to feel at home at UBS Arena


Josh Bailey scored and so the song resonated at UBS Arena.

“Hey, Josh Bailey. I would like to know if you scored a goal.

This was not the first show this year. But it was extremely loud and long. And the chorus of 17,255 reflected the feeling inside the building during the Islanders’ 3-2 win over the Devils on Thursday, with the new barn finally feeling like home.

After the start of November 20, the Islanders took three weeks to win at home, including an 11-game losing streak and a COVID-19 outbreak. After testing positive for the coronavirus, Bailey was trapped in Florida. When they had to get accustomed to a new routine, a new locker room and a new ice surface, all of the Islanders’ routines were canceled.

“It might have taken a couple of games to really feel like home,” Bailey said Thursday. “But since then, it’s been a smooth sailing.”

The Islanders celebrate Josh Bailey’s goal against the Devils.

And after going 0-7 in the first three weeks at their new home, the Islanders have scored points in every game they have played at UBS Arena since their 4-2 win over the Devils on Dec. 11. That’s just six home matches. Because COVID has forced the Islanders to postpone eight matches since December 20, but there is a significant difference in their game.

“The building is different but the people are the same,” Cal Clutterbuck said after Friday’s practice. “They were making the same noise. It was a little unfortunate that we had to start work on that building. And I think it took us a while to get going. But the fans and the building have nothing to do with it.

The Islanders seem to have found something, reaching deep to recover from a gut-punch penalty that tied the Devils’ game Thursday for the second time in the third period.

Now, nine of his next 10 games are on the Islanders, rocking the place, at home.

“I think with three games in 25 days, there’s no excuse not to go out there and win every night,” Clutterbuck said.

Josh Bailey (right) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Devils.
Josh Bailey (right) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Devils.

Jean-Gabriel Pago and Sebastian Aho returned to practice on Friday because they lost the game Thursday because their wives gave birth.

“It’s great,” Pageau said. “Our first, our little boy. Everything is fine and my wife is doing well.


The Islanders face a familiar challenge on Saturday when they play Alexander Ovechkin for the first time this year. His penalty kill last year caught the Capitals’ superstar with just one goal in four games, and Ovechkin’s 12 of the all-time best 275 power-play goals against the Islanders.

Alex Ovechkin
The Islanders will face Alex Ovechkin for the first time this season on Saturday.

“Don’t let him shoot you from that place [on the half-wall]”Acting coach Lane Lambert said.” We have been killing against them again and again for some time. We have a plan. ”


Lambert said he was not told when head coach Barry Trotz would return from the Kovid protocol. Trotz entered protocol on Tuesday, saying he would be eligible to coach Monday’s game against the Flyers if he was asymptomatic and cleared the protocol.


Ross Johnston was suspended for three games and fined $ 15,000 by the NHL’s Player Safety Division for illegal inspection of the head at AJ Greer on Thursday. Devils coach Lindy Ruff told reporters that Greer misses a “serious time” after the hit.

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