Let’s get ready to rumble!
It should be a great matchup out of the gate, as two of the odds-on favorites to win the Metropolitan Division will be hitting the ice in PNC Arena in front of a sold-out crowd.
After a year apart thanks to a 2020-21 season unlike any other, the Canes and Islanders are back to being divisional foes and should play some competitive hockey against each other for the year to come.
For the Canes, the roster is a mixed bag of new and old, with some key figures back and joined by offseason acquisitions across the ice. Eight players that joined the organization since the end of last season are on the opening-night roster.
It’ll be Frederik Andersen getting the opening-night start in goal over Antti Raanta, while newcomer Jesperi Kotkaniemi looks like he’ll join a line with countryman Sebastian Aho, as well as Martin Necas.
A note for those attending Thursday night’s game in PNC Arena, some more information from the Canes on when doors open, parking (important with the fair also in town) and more:
Here’s how Rod Brind’Amour’s squad will hit the ice Thursday night in front of the home fans.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi - Sebastian Aho - Martin Necas
Andrei Svechnikov - Vincent Trocheck - Teuvo Teravainen
Nino Niederreiter - Jordan Staal - Jesper Fast
Jordan Martinook - Derek Stepan - Steven Lorentz
Jaccob Slavin - Ethan Bear
Brady Skjei - Brett Pesce
Ian Cole - Tony DeAngelo
Injuries and Scratches: Seth Jarvis (healthy), Brendan Smith (healthy)
The Islanders finished fourth in the East Division last season, but made a run in the playoffs all the way to the semifinals. There New York was ousted in game seven by the eventual champions in the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Isles have some new faces in the room as well, notably Zach Parise and Zdeno Chara, but also return a ton of key members, including the talented Semyon Varlamov and Ilya Sorokin in net.
Expectations are very, very high on Long Island for this team, which has the talent to go deep into the playoffs. It starts Thursday night in Raleigh, as Barry Trotz’s team should roll out like this, with Sorokin expected to be in net with Varlamov nursing an injury:
Anders Lee - Mathew Barzal - Kyle Palmieri
Anthony Beauvillier - Brock Nelson - Josh Bailey
Zach Parise - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Oliver Wahlstrom
Ross Johnston - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech - Ryan Pulock
Zdeno Chara - Noah Dobson
Andy Greene - Scott Mayfield
Injuries and Scratches: Kieffer Bellows (healthy), Matt Martin (IR), Semyon Varlamov (IR), Kieffer Bellows