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Islanders shuffle lines after shutout loss in Denver

Islanders coach Jack Capuano gives instructions during the

Islanders coach Jack Capuano gives instructions during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014. Photo Credit: AP / Gene J. Puskar

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Jack Capuano said he didn't find too much wrong with the Islanders' play the past two games aside from, of course, the results.

He still decided to shuffle his forward lines ahead of Saturday night's game against the San Jose Sharks, a natural response to Thursday night's 5-0 clunker of a loss to the Avalanche in Denver that marked the ugliest moment of the season.

Brock Nelson moved from center to wing, alongside John Tavares and Kyle Okposo. Ryan Strome, previously Nelson's right wing, slotted into a center spot between Matt Martin and Anders Lee. And Cory Conacher, who was Tavares' wing the first 10 games, moved into more of a grinder's spot on the left side with Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck.

"We've given it 10 games; now we're going to see what Brock can do up there," Capuano said after the Islanders' practice at the SAP Center Friday. "That's also our first power-play unit, so it makes sense to try it five-on-five."

Tavares led the Islanders with 10 shot attempts in Denver on Thursday night and rang a power-play shot off the crossbar in the closing seconds of the first period, when the Islanders trailed 1-0.

"I feel like we generated a lot as a line," he said. "You have to capitalize on your chances though."

The difficult part of this five-game road trip begins Saturday night against a Sharks team that is potent despite a relatively slow start for them at 6-4-2.

"The guys know we're going to face adversity at times this season," Capuano said. "They also know we're playing well. I'm certain if we keep playing this way, we'll get the results we want."

Notes & quotes: Defenseman Travis Hamonic (upper body) practiced fully again and likely will play Saturday night, paired with Calvin de Haan. Brian Strait likely would be the odd defenseman out . . . Jaroslav Halak also is a near certainty to return in goal after sitting out Thursday night's shutout loss.

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