Isles Treating Barclays Center Game Like a Normal Preseason Contest

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Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Saturday night’s preseason matchup against the New Jersey Devils will be a glimpse into what life will be like when the Islanders move to Brooklyn in 2015.

The exhibition contest between the Devils and Islanders will be the first NHL game to take place in the borough of Brooklyn, as well as the first hockey game to take place at the Barclays Center.

It wont be the first time the Isles have visited their future home.

The Islanders opened training camp last Thursday with a practice at the Brooklyn venue. Now the team will get a feel for what it is like to play in front of a crowd in Brooklyn.

“I think everyone is looking forward to playing that game,” forward Colin McDonald said after Friday’s practice at Nassau Coliseum. “Obviously it’s going to give us a little sneak peak of what’s to come in two years. I thought we had a lot of fun just even in the opening of training camp there and seeing the new building. It will be nice to see what it’s like with all the lights on and the scoreboard going, and obviously the fans in there.”

Last week, Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark said that over 10,000 tickets had been sold for Saturday’s game.

Despite the significance of the game off the ice, the team is treating the game like any other preseason game.

“For us, we want to execute,” head coach Jack Capuano said. “We want to play a little bit better with the vets that will be playing than we did in Calgary and Regina. That’s what I want to see.”

McDonald echoed a similar sentiment, saying the team still had a job to do. “We’re not just playing these preseason games to play. We’re trying to win these games and get better as a team. So that’s going to be our main focus when we get there tomorrow,” he said.

The Islanders will have a morning skate tomorrow at Nassau Coliseum, before heading to Brooklyn for the game.

NOTES: The Islanders announced that Cal Clutterbuck will be out for the next four to six weeks with a leg laceration suffered in Tuesday’s game against Calgary. … Colin McDonald skated in Cluttberbuck’s spot on the third line in practice, with Michael Grabner and Peter Regin. … Captain John Tavares turned 23 years old today.