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Uniondale, NY --
The Islanders lost Travis Hamonic for the next two weeks after he took a puck to the face early in the third period.

5:21 into the Third, Hamonic went down lying on the ice momentarily as a pool of blood formed below him. Team trainers quickly rushed over to him and helped him off the ice. He was taken to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair a broken nose and received stitches.

The loss of the 21 year old, who has been one of the Islanders top defensemen this season, Could not have come at a worse time. The Islanders have games against Philadelphia, who’ve always give them problems, along with games against Montreal, LA, Winnipeg, St. Luis and Carolina.  Not the easiest of matchups.

Hamonic’s absence was noticeable in the third period during last night’s loss to the Sabres and may have contributed to the loss.

“It definitely hurts,” PA Parenteau said about the loss of Hamonic last night. “Travis is one of our best defensemen, there’s no doubt about that, but we have to bear down. We can’t use that as excuses, but he’s one of our best defensemen and it hurt us down the stretch. Especially play back-to-back nights like that.”

“I think when you play back to back and a guy that plays key minutes for us against key opposition and their top lines definitely had a play in [the game’s outcome],” Isles head coach Jack Capuano said about the loss of Hamonic. “

The Islanders will not have Hamonic back until at least February 20 against the Ottawa Senators.

Islanders Still Believe They Can Make the Playoffs

Uniondale, NY -- Even after they had lost to the Sabres last night, the Islanders still believed they could make a run at the postseason.

“Of course,” Al Montoya responded when asked about the topic. “We’re taking it day by day. Today we didn’t get the two, but we got the one. It’s important that we keep going forward and knowing what’s making us successful and doing the right things.

PA Parenteau, while upset over the loss, was optimistic that the team recent performance. He believes they are play with confidence.

“I feel pretty good about it,” He said about his team’s play. “I feel like we’re playing with confidence. Tonight maybe we ran out of gas a little bit, but I feel pretty confident. We played some pretty good hockey lately. The guys are feeling it and we got some good goaltending, so I feel pretty confident of our chances [at the postseason].”

The Islanders have 31 games left to play in the 2011-12 season and at this point in the season they do not have to many losses to give if the want to realistically have a playoff chance.

“We’re in this kind of position where every point is crucial,” said team captain Mark Streit. “Especially the next three to four weeks… This time of the year if you look at the standings one or two points could make the difference at the end of the season.”

The Islanders are 10 points behind the eighth place Toronto Maple Leafs and will need to go 17-10-4 in the remainder of the season to have a chance at the post season. They will also need to Toronto and/or Washington to taper off down the stretch.