Travis Hamonic continued his quest to get into the Game 1 lineup against the Panthers by going out on the ice Monday morning, a scheduled day off for nearly all the other Islanders.
Hamonic suffered a right knee injury March 31 against the Blue Jackets and was ruled out for the remainder of the regular season the next day. Shades of Hamonic’s late-season knee injury last year, when he suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee in the second-to-last game of the regular season, cropped up immediately as Hamonic sat out the final six games of this season.
But he went through a full practice Saturday morning, giving the Isles hope that Hamonic will be on the ice when the Islanders and Panthers begin their playoff series Thursday night in Sunrise, Florida.
Hamonic skated with Brian Strait, another injured defenseman, on Monday while the rest of the team rested up after a string of five games in seven days to close the regular season. But two other long-term injured Islanders weren’t on the ice.
Jaroslav Halak (groin) had been skating the past few days and took Monday off. He’s now at five weeks for an injury that was projected to sideline him from six to eight weeks, and Jack Capuano said Sunday that Halak is “still a ways away.”
Mikhail Grabovski (concussion symptoms) remained off the ice with no change in his status. It appears unlikely he’ll play again this season.
n Mayfield to Bridgeport
After a weekend of lineup shuffling, the Islanders sent defenseman Scott Mayfield to Bridgeport. With Hamonic working to return and Ryan Pulock and Adam Pelech still up, Mayfield went back down to try to help the Sound Tigers reach the postseason.
n Gudbranson practices
Florida also has a few injuries to cope with. Defenseman Erik Gudbranson practiced Monday for the Panthers, but forward Vincent Trocheck (foot) did not. Trocheck, who had 25 goals this season, is unlikely to be back for the start of the series.