RALEIGH, N.C. - The final numbers from the season opener look pretty ugly for the Islanders' penalty kill, which was one of the big problems in 2013-14.
Carolina converted two of five power plays in the Islanders' 5-3 win. Never mind that both of those scores came with the Isles ahead by three goals.
After finishing 29th in penalty-killing a season ago, the Islanders know they must be better when down a man. They were under pressure on an early Hurricanes power play Friday night, with only Jaroslav Halak to save them on a couple of occasions.
"We know it has to be better," coach Jack Capuano said before the game. "We've made some tweaks and now we have to execute. We have the guys who can do the job and they have to show that or they won't be out there."
"We still gave up two, so we have to be a little sharper there," Halak said. "You know you get the best five guys from the other team on the power play, so we have to be better."
No decision yet on goalie
Halak said he is fine with whatever decision Capuano makes regarding whether he or Chad Johnson starts in goal on Saturday night at the Coliseum. Numerous analytic sites have crunched the data on goalies starting on consecutive nights, with roughly a .01 percentage drop-off in save percentage in statistics from last season.
Two goaltenders played back-to-back games on Wednesday and Thursday. Each lost the second game, with the Flyers' Steve Mason surrendering six goals in his team's defeat.
Griffin Reinhart, 20, made his NHL debut and played 16:51 for the Isles with his parents, former NHL defenseman Paul and Theresa, in attendance. Sam Reinhart, 18, the youngest of their three pro hockey-playing sons and the No. 1 pick in June, played for the Sabres against Columbus on Thursday night. Max Reinhart, 22, is a Flames prospect who has played 19 games for Calgary . . . Nelson tied Mike Comrie (2007-08) for the team record for points on opening night.