It was Nickelodeon Day at UBS Arena on Saturday, which made for a largely youthful crowd, and even featured an appropriate visiting opponent in the Dallas Stars, who wore their white-and-slime-green uniforms.
The fact the Islanders won, 4-2, behind a hat trick from Brock Nelson was a bonus, and continued a recent stretch in which their shiny new arena finally is giving them a home-ice advantage.
It was not that way early on, starting with an opener on Nov. 20 that was marred when the roster was hit by a COVID-19 wave at the worst possible time.
The Islanders lost to the Flames that night, 5-2, and went on to go 0-5-2 in their first seven home games. But since then, things have gotten better.
Saturday’s victory made the Islanders 15-12-4 at home. They have won four in a row at UBS.
"It took a while," coach Barry Trotz said before the game, noting that early on the Islanders were no more familiar with the place than were visitors. "It’s just starting to become a little more homefield advantage.
"The first 10 were neutral sites. There wasn’t much advantage. Even though our fan base was good and they filled the rink and they were cheering us on, it wasn’t as big an advantage as the [Nassau] Coliseum.
"We’re becoming more familiar. It’s more routine, and it feels right. We’re having a little more success . . . We just didn’t have that at the start. Hopefully we can create that environment for years to come."
Notes & quotes: The Islanders had a video tribute and a moment of silence before the game for former Islander Jean Potvin, who died on Tuesday . . . Casey Cizikas fell to the ice after taking a slapshot to his neck, but he stayed in the game.