Flu keeps Evgeni Nabokov off the ice

Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov closes his eyes as Islanders goalie Evgeni Nabokov closes his eyes as he sits in the goal after Scott Gomez of the Canadiens scored in the third period of a 4-2 win for Montreal. (Feb. 9, 2012) Photo Credit: David Pokress

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Evgeni Nabokov still didn't return to skating Monday and did not join his teammates on their flight to Buffalo after the game.

Nabokov has been off the ice and away from the team since coming down with the flu Thursday in St. Louis. Because he wasn't able to skate Monday, there was little point in taking him on the trip for Tuesday night's game against the Sabres.

He allowed three or more goals in only three of his last 11 starts before falling ill. With Nabokov out, the Islanders have allowed at least three goals in each of the last three games he's missed, going 1-2-0 during that stretch.

Hamonic goes for a spin

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Travis Hamonic got back on the ice Monday, as planned. Now it's a matter of whether Hamonic, out since a deflected puck broke his nose and sent him to the hospital for surgery Feb. 4, can get enough workout time to build his conditioning back up for a return Friday against the Rangers.

Mike Mottau (concussion) also skated Monday morning and appears ready to return, even though there isn't a spot for him on defense.

Jack Capuano stuck with the defense pairs that finished Saturday's game, with Mark Streit and Andrew MacDonald paired up. "Just a different look for some of our breakouts," he said.

Streit and MacDonald were on for the two quick Senators goals to open Monday's game.

Okposo shakes off flu

Kyle Okposo didn't skate Sunday because of the flu that had been going around the locker room, but was well enough to play Monday. Tim Wallace was the healthy scratch among the forwards . . . Hall of Famer Denis Potvin was back in the Coliseum, doing color on the Senators' broadcast . . . Former Islander Zenon Konopka also made his return, but only for warm-ups. He was a healthy scratch for the fifth straight game for Ottawa.

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