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THIS WEEK ON THE ISLE

by Eric Hornick / New York Islanders

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9TH ­ DALLAS AT ISLANDERS 7:00PM
[MSG+ (Islanders pre-game at 6:30pm)]
 
The Islanders begin their 38th National Hockey League season when they welcome the Stars to the Coliseum on Saturday.

It's the only meeting of the season with Dallas, who won last season's meeting 4-3 at the American Airlines Center. The Stars have won the last  three meetings between the squads, dating back to a Rick DiPietro shutout in Dallas on November 15, 2006 that featured the debut of Dancin' Stan Hunter (Trent's dad).
 
The Isles are opening at home for the second straight season. It's the first time in club history that has happened. It's also the first game of a  two-game homestand, marking the first time since the 1995 lockout season that the Isles have opened with consecutive home games.
 
The Isles are 24-10-3 in 37 previous home openers and 9-19-9 on Opening Night overall. The Stars open their season on Friday night in New Jersey, when they will play the first game in the post- Mike Modano era. Modano, now with the Red Wings, is the franchise all-time leader in every major offensive category and has recorded more goals and points than any other American-born player.

Opening Night Facts you might not know:

* This is the 24th consecutive home opener to be played on a weekend (all but in 1999 on a Saturday). The last mid-week home opener was in 1986 vs. Washington. The Isles have had a Saturday home opener in 32 of their 38 seasons.

* This is the 6th time in club history that the Isles have opened at home (1972, 1980, January 1995, 1998, 2009 and 2010). The Isles are 2-2-1 when they play the season opener at home.

* The Isles have never opened against Dallas, but they opened the 1989-90 season with a 6-5 defeat in Minnesota against the North Stars. Modano made his NHL debut that evening, scoring a goal and adding an assist to help spoil Glenn Healy's Islander debut.

* This is the 9th time that the Isles have opened at season on October 9th, but the first since 2003.

* This is the 2nd time that the Isles will finish a season series on Opening Night, having also done so in 2006 when they opened in Phoenix.

* Get your tickets early. The Isles have sold out the home opener eight times in the last nine years.

Eric Hornick has been the statistician on Islander home game telecasts since 1982.
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