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Islanders hope Shane Prince, Cal Clutterbuck & Travis Hamonic return healthy

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nick Jensen (3) and

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nick Jensen (3) and New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck (15) battle for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) Credit: AP / Paul Sancya

COLUMBUS, Ohio — With six road games left on their nine-game stretch away from Barclays Center, the Islanders can use all the reinforcements they can get.

They should have a better idea soon of where Cal Clutterbuck, Shane Price and Travis Hamonic stand.

Coach Doug Weight said before the loss to the Blue Jackets that all three are expected “to be fairly aggressive” in practice tomorrow, and that by later in the week he should have a good sense of their status. The Islanders return to action Thursday in Dallas.

Clutterbuck tried to go Tuesday in Detroit after missing nine games with a lower- body injury, but he left that game after two periods and has missed the past two.

“We’ve had a couple of relapses, so that’s discouraging,” Weight said of Clutterbuck. “But the encouraging part is he stopped when he had to stop. He’s been pushing it too far. He wasn’t feeling right, but he kept playing and playing and playing, and then it’s gone too far.”

Torts touts Tavares

Former Rangers and current Columbus coach John Tortorella had high praise for Islanders captain John Tavares.

“I don’t know Johnny; I have admired him from afar,” Tortorella said. “The thing that immediately [comes to mind] when you say ‘John Tavares’ to me, it’s all business.

“I’m not sure if he’s a comedian, if he has a personality in the locker room. But on the ice, there’s not a lot of fluff . . . He just plays.

“He just looks like a pro, and I think that’s probably the ultimate compliment you can say about a player, because it’s basically describing how you handle yourself . . . I respect him, and I don’t even know him.”

New York Sports