No it was not the prettiest but in the end it’s not as if the Islanders care.

On Friday night at the Prudential Center in Newark the Islanders managed to open their season with a 4-3 shootout win over the Devils in a game that was not very convincing in proving that the preseason was over.

“It was a little bit more wide-open than I anticipated” said coach Jack Capuano insistent his team created enough offense to be happy about. “From game to game you don’t know what to expect. But I thought it was a real good hockey game.”

It ended when Matt Moulson lifted one over Martin Brodeur’s right shoulder in the sixth round of the shootout with neither team managing to net one before that moment in the skills competition. It ended anticlimactically for what seemed to be shaping into a night of redemption for Brodeur who started his 19th consecutive home-opener only mildly bittersweet because the night before his streak of season-openers ended at an NHL record of 18 with Cory Schneider playing in a 3-0 loss to the Penguins in Pittsburgh.

“The puck kind of hopped up” Moulson said about the winning tally “and I found a way to chip it in.”
It seemed almost appropriate as both teams had their stars shut down — most notably John Tavares’ Islanders line which had very little time and space — and teetered back and forth by the play of both goaltenders.

“I feel like I’m supposed to feel in the first game I guess” said the Islanders’ Evgeni Nabokov who finished with 26 saves some of them spectacular and who was unsure if he’s going to play the second part of this back-to-back Saturday night in the Coliseum against the Blue Jackets.