Jason Brough

Isles will be ‘aggressive’ in selling more tickets


The New York Islanders drew another modest-sized crowd Monday at Barclays Center, where just 11,841 showed up to watch the Isles beat the Coyotes, 5-2.

After 11 games in their new Brooklyn home, the Isles rank 29th in NHL attendance, with an average crowd of 12,156. Only Carolina ranks lower (11,227), and the Hurricanes don’t have a winning record like the Isles do.

Brett Yormark, CEO of Barclays Center, spoke to Newsday about the attendance situation.

“The area we continue to work at is ticket sales,” he said.

“Am I pleased with playing at 77 percent capacity and at 12.1 [thousand]? I’m fine with that. I’m never satisfied. My personality is I’m relatively a happy person, but never satisfied. I want more, and we’re going to be aggressive in getting more.”

Yormark is optimistic that attendance will improve as the season progresses and more marquee teams pay visits.

The Isles’ next home game is Friday versus Montreal.

Their first home game versus the Rangers is Dec. 2.

Related: Isles attendance once again under the microscope

Goalie nods: Mason gets surprise start for Flyers, Neuvirth ‘unavailable’

Steve Mason

Steve Mason woke up Tuesday not knowing if he was playing tonight.

He learned the answer at this morning’s skate.

From CSN Philly:

As Mason got loose, Flyers goalie coach Kim Dillabaugh waved the netminder down to the other side of the rink and proceeded to whisper something in his ear.

The message was that Mason will start on Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Kings and that backup Michal Neuvirth will not be available.

Neuvirth has an upper-body injury, according to GM Ron Hextall. The Flyers have called up goalie Anthony Stolarz on an emergency basis to serve as Mason’s backup tonight.

“It was up in the air yesterday and I found out at the skate here,” Mason said. “It’s different circumstances, but it doesn’t really affect me. You prepare every single night as if you’re going to be playing the game regardless of the situation.”

Mason has had a tough season. He’s 3-5-2 with an .895 save percentage. However, he did win his last outing, a 3-2 overtime decision Saturday in Carolina.

Jonathan Quick is likely to start for the Kings.


Martin Jones for the Sharks. Tuukka Rask likely for the Bruins.

Antti Niemi for the Stars. Linus Ullmark for the Sabres.

Brian Elliott for the Blues. Sergei Bobrovsky for the Blue Jackets.

Devan Dubnyk for the Wild. Marc-Andre Fleury for the Penguins.

Reto Berra for the Avalanche. James Reimer for the Maple Leafs.

— Frederik Anderson for the Ducks. Pekka Rinne expected for the Predators.

Cory Schneider for the Devils. Karri Ramo for the Flames.

Roberto Luongo, still getting it done

Roberto Luongo, Valtteri Filppula

At 36, Roberto Luongo is the oldest starting goalie in the NHL.

But age doesn’t seem to be slowing him down.

Luongo posted a 39-save shutout last night as his Panthers blanked Tampa Bay, 1-0.

Florida was outshot, 39-20.

“[The Lightning] probably deserved a better fate, but Luongo was outstanding tonight,” said Panthers coach Gerard Gallant.

How good has Luongo been on the season?

Well, there are 27 goalies in the league with at least 10 starts. Of those 27, only five have a higher save percentage than Luongo’s .926.

Not bad for a guy who’s played 878 career NHL games, by far the most of any active netminder. Henrik Lundqvist is second with 634.

Related: Luongo says Panthers cannot accept anything ‘beneath’ playoffs

Evander Kane could return ‘ahead of schedule’


We learned yesterday that Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian was “ready to go.” He’s expected to make his season debut tonight at home versus Dallas.

But Bogosian might not be the only key player that Buffalo is about to get back. Winger Evander Kane sounds just about ready to return from his knee injury, despite an original timeline that suggested he could be out until December.

“I feel like I could play today but they’re being cautious and I have to listen to them so hopefully we’ll be back on that trip,” Kane told The Buffalo News this morning.

The Sabres play Thursday in St. Louis and Saturday in Dallas.

“Yeah, he seems to be a bit ahead of schedule,” coach Dan Bylsma said of Kane.

After encouraging win, Bruins hoping to learn from ‘past mistakes’

Dennis Seidenberg, Tuukka Rask

The Boston Bruins were happy with their effort Saturday in a 3-1 win over Detroit.

They weren’t happy, you’ll recall, with their efforts in previous games.

And because it’s only been one good game in a row, the B’s have been trying to stay vigilant ahead of tonight’s visit from San Jose.

“I think it’s about realizing and learning from the past mistakes,” forward Patrice Bergeron told CSN New England. “I think we have had a good effort and then the next game wasn’t so good. So hopefully we can learn from that.”

After 16 games, Boston’s record of 8-7-1 is a fairly accurate reflection of how this group has played. The offense has been great overall; the defense not so much.

That’s why the win over Detroit was so encouraging. The B’s held the Wings to just 23 shots and one goal.

“I look good when the team looks good and vice versa,” said goalie Tuukka Rask. “[Saturday night] was a great example, first two periods we take their speed away in the neutral zone, keep them to the outside and block shots, they had 13 shots through two periods. It’s just a great group effort, and it helps me a lot when that happens.”

The key now?

Make it happen again and again.

The Sharks will be looking for their third straight victory. It’s not a team the Bruins can take lightly.