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Islanders expect to bounce back

The New York Islanders' Brock Nelson (29) and

The New York Islanders' Brock Nelson (29) and Johnny Boychuk (55) celebrate a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the second period of an NHL game, Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta. Photo Credit: AP / Jason Franson

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Amid the critical assessments after the Islanders' stinker in Edmonton were promises:

Such a performance will not happen again.

"I think we've shown all season long that's not the way we're capable of playing," Travis Hamonic said in the visitors' dressing room after the Isles' 5-2 loss to the Oilers on Sunday. "We're going to come out with a better effort in Vancouver [Tuesday night]. There's no doubt in my mind."

There's no reason to doubt Hamonic. The Islanders have lost only 12 times in regulation in 39 games this season and, even with a pair of three-game losing streaks, their response after a rare bad game has been pretty strong.

Of course, the Islanders hadn't had a mistake-filled night as bad as Sunday's this season. Even in their worst defeat, a 5-0 loss to the Avalanche in Denver on Oct. 30, they outshot Colorado 40-23.

Jack Capuano gave his team Monday off before Tuesday night's game against the Canucks, the last of four stops in Western Canada. He would not even entertain the notion that his Islanders were looking past the Oilers, who won for only the ninth time in 40 games this season.

"We would never do that," Capuano said. "That's not even an issue."

The issue for Capuano was a handful of his players making uncharacteristic mistakes and some sloppiness in the offensive zone.

If there are any lineup changes Tuesday night, they likely will not include Michael Grabner's return. The Isles need a roster spot to take Grabner (lower body) off injured reserve, and they did not place anyone on waivers Monday. To make space for Grabner, they would have to put an active player on IR.

Capuano might shuffle his lines and consider giving backup goaltender Chad Johnson a start. Jaroslav Halak, who has been the Islanders' anchor this season, had a rough night Sunday, allowing four goals on only 22 shots, including his own misplay behind the net that Matt Hendricks turned into the game's opening goal.


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