Injured Travis Hamonic makes the Islanders' lineup

Travis Hamonic of the New York Islanders defends

Travis Hamonic of the New York Islanders defends against Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning. (Jan. 21, 2013) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

PITTSBURGH -- Travis Hamonic's ankle must be all right. He certainly didn't miss a beat last night, playing 25:06 in the 4-1 win over the Penguins.

He seemed determined to get into the lineup despite a sprained ankle that kept him out of the final minutes of Sunday's 5-4 overtime loss to the Jets in Winnipeg.

"I wouldn't be putting myself at risk physically, and I wouldn't want to be a liability to my team if I wasn't ready," he said after the morning skate. "So I'm ready."

Radek Martinek and Joe Finley sat out on defense. Martinek still has yet to make his season debut. Finley came out for Thomas Hickey in Winnipeg, and Jack Capuano liked Hickey's decision making so he stayed in the lineup.

Casey Cizikas went back in on the right side of the fourth line for Eric Boulton, and got his first goal.

Strait back for a visit

You could say this was a bit of a homecoming for Brian Strait, who was a 2006 third-round draft pick of the Penguins. But Strait played only 12 NHL games in four pro seasons in the Pittsburgh organization; last night was his sixth with the Islanders.

"I haven't even thought about being back here. I'm really still just excited that the Islanders are showing so much faith in me and giving me an opportunity," said Strait, who came into the game averaging 17:50 a night. "I never had that opportunity with Pittsburgh, for whatever reason."

The Islanders claimed Strait off waivers from the Penguins two weeks ago, and the 25-year-old jumped into the opening-night lineup and has played a steady, simple game, willing to take hits and dish them out.

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