|New York Islanders
|NYI: Johnny Boychuk (1), Brock Nelson 2 (2), Mikhail Grabovski (1), Travis Hamonic (1)|
|CAR: Nathan Gerbe (1), Chris Terry (1), Eric Staal (1)|
It has been said that there is nothing more important than making a good first impression, and it was quite a first impression Johnny Boychuk had on New York Islanders fans Friday, in the NHL’s only action of the night.
In his Islanders debut, following six years with the Boston Bruins organization, Boychuk scored the first goal of the Islanders season, collected two assists, and led the team in time on ice at 23:11, to help New York to a 5-3 season-opening victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Islanders acquired Boychuk, 30, from Boston on October 4, in exchange for two second-round draft picks, one in 2015 and one in 2016, and a conditional third-round pick in 2015. It did not take long for the veteran defenseman to make an impact.
With 2:54 remaining in the first period and the Islanders on the power play, Boychuk took a pass from Kyle Okposo and ripped a hard one-timer past Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward. Just under two minutes later, the Islanders jumped out to a 2-0 lead when second-year center Brock Nelson snapped a wrister to the back of the net.
Nelson finished the night with two goals and two assists to lead the way for the Islanders. Mikhail Grabovski and Travis Hamonic rounded out the goal-scoring for New York. Team captain John Tavares chipped in with three assists.
Goalie Jaroslav Halak, also making his debut for the Isles, made 21 saves in the win.
The Hurricanes received power play goals from Nathan Gerbe and Eric Staal, and an even-strength marker from Chris Terry. Defenseman Andre Sekeraj, who led the team with 22:08 of time on ice, had two assists.
The two teams will travel to Long Island Saturday to close out their home-and-home series.