After ending a five-year playoff drought, the New York Islanders enter 2013-14 under the spotlight.
Kicking things off on a positive note, though, could prove difficult against future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur, who tries to help the New Jersey Devils bounce back in his season debut.
Hoping to avoid a sixth consecutive season-opening loss, the Islanders try to spoil the Devils' home opener Friday night.
New York endured five straight last-place finishes before going 24-17-7 in the lockout-shortened season, taking Pittsburgh to six games in a first-round playoff series. Star center John Tavares led the way with 28 goals to finish third in the NHL.
"I definitely see the expectations are higher, and people are going to expect for us to be in the playoffs," said the 23-year-old Tavares, New York's newly anointed captain.
"It's going to be a great task for us this year, but we're looking forward to it. Playing in the playoffs makes you hungrier to get back there. You can sense tha...