The Islanders’ long journey home to UBS Arena

A view of the scoreboard at UBS Arena at Belmont Park on Sept. 30, 2021. (Photo credit: Howard Schnapp)

The Islanders begin the 2021-22 NHL season on a franchise-record 13-game road trip while the finishing touches are put on their new home, UBS Arena at Belmont Park.

From the season opener in Carolina on Oct. 14 to the home opener on Long Island on Nov. 20, the Isles’ journey will take 37 days and nearly 15,000 miles traveled.

Oct. 14 at Carolina

Mathew Barzal’s top line with a healthy Anders Lee and Kyle Palmieri was dangerous all game. But the Islanders weren’t careful enough with the puck, strong enough defensively or good enough on special teams in a 6-3 loss to the Hurricanes before 18,680 at PNC Arena in the season opener.

Team record: 0-1-0, 0 points

Miles traveled: 526.3

Days until the home opener: 37

While you’re away

The ice was put down and painted at UBS Arena on Oct. 14.

Oct. 16 at Florida

Ilya Sorokin made 24 saves, including 14 in the third period, but allowed five goals thanks to bad defensive play as the Isles fell to the Panthers, 5-1, at FLA Live Arena. Oliver Wahlstrom’s unassisted power-play goal in the third period spoiled Sergei Bobrovsky’s shutout attempt.

Team record: 0-2-0, 0 points

Miles traveled: 1,312.6

Days until the home opener: 35

Oct. 19 at Chicago

Sorokin was brilliant in making 31 of his 39 saves over the first two periods, and Wahlstrom scored twice in the third period as the Islanders kept Chicago winless, 4-1, at United Center to earn their first victory.

Team record: 1-2-0, 2 points

Miles traveled: 2,675.8

Days til the home opener: 32

Meanwhile, back home

The Stanley Cup banners and retired Islander jerseys were raised to the rafters at UBS Arena.

Oct. 21 at Columbus

Patrik Laine’s blistering shot from the right circle at 1:49 of overtime gave the Blue Jackets a 3-2 win over the Isles at Nationwide Arena. The Islanders failed to capitalize on three power-play chances, another strong outing from goalie Ilya Sorokin and an odd-man opportunity in overtime.

Team record: 1-2-1, 3 points

Miles traveled: 3,032.2

Days until the home opener: 30

Oct. 23 at Arizona

Ilys Sorokin made 26 saves for his fourth career shutout and his first of the season, preserving it by turning aside Nick Schmaltz from in tight with less than a minute to play in the third period of the Isles’ 3-0 win over Arizona. The Isles got goals from Cal Clutterbuck, Brock Nelson and Anthony Beauvillier in the victory.

Miles traveled: 4,953.4

Days until the home opener: 28

Oct. 24 at Vegas

Ilya Sorokin had his second shutout in as many nights and Josh Bailey moved past Bobby Nystrom into 10th place on the franchise scoring list as the Isles defeated the Golden Knights, 2-0.

Miles traveled: 5,233.2

Days until the home opener: 27

Oct. 30 at Nashville

The Islanders went 2-for-4 on the man advantage, the penalty kill went 4-for-4 against the Predators’ power play and Ilya Sorokin stopped 21 shots, but Oliver Wahlstrom and Beauvillier were stopped in the shootout as the Isles fell to the Predators, 3-2, at Bridgestone Arena.

Miles traveled: 7,027.2

Days until the home opener: 21

Nov. 4 at Montreal

Brock Nelson’s career-high four-goal performance, including a late empty-netter, another strong outing from Ilya Sorokin and three assists from local product Anthony Beauvillier highlighted the Isles’ 6-2 win over the Canadiens at Bell Centre.

Miles traveled: 8,119.6

Days until the home opener: 16

Nov. 6 at Winnipeg

Ilya Sorokin notched his third shutout of the season in the Islanders’ 2-0 win over the Jets at Canada Life Centre. Anders Lee and Brock Nelson scored for the Isles, who extended their point streak to seven games.

Miles traveled: 10,387.9

Days until the home opener: 14

Nov. 7 at Minnesota

Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves in his first action since June 25, but the Isles gave up two quick goals and two empty-netters to end their point streak at seven games and fell to the Wild, 5-2, at the Xcel Energy Center.

Miles traveled: 11,137.5

Days until the home opener: 13

Nov. 11 at New Jersey

The Isles couldn’t get anything going against Mackenzie Blackwood and continued to struggle on special teams as they fell to the Devils, 4-0, at Prudential Center in the closest they’ve come to playing a home game, both geographically and with the crowd split roughly 50-50 in its loyalties.

Miles traveled: 12,316

Days until the home opener: 9

Nov. 15 at Tampa Bay

A revamped lineup didn’t do much for the Islanders, who allowed a tying goal just 23 seconds after taking an early lead and went 0-for-3 with two shots on the man advantage in a 4-1 loss to the defending champion Lightning at Amalie Arena.

Miles traveled: 13,435.3

Days until the home opener: 5

Nov. 16 at Florida

The road trip is over, but the Isles are limping home after suffering their fourth straight regulation defeat, this one a 6-1 loss to the Panthers courtesy of four first-period goals.

Miles traveled: 13,686.5

Days until the home opener: 4

Now arriving…

The LIRR’s new Elmont station, about three-quarters of a mile north of UBS Arena, officially is renamed Elmont-UBS Arena Station on Nov. 17 after the MTA board unanimously approved a 10-year, $1.75 million deal giving naming rights to arena developer New York Arena Partners.

The home opener: Nov. 20 vs. Calgary

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Miles traveled: 14,960.2

Contributors: Mark La Monica, Andrew Gross, James Stewart