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Islanders to likely fill Tavares’ absence with youth

Dallas Stars v New York Islanders

skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on January 6, 2014 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Stars 7-3.

Bruce Bennett

The loss of John Tavares to the New York Islanders for the remainder of the season with a knee injury was crushing news for the team.

While Tavares is out, the team must move on. As Arthur Staple of New York Newsday shares, Isles coach Jack Capuano is hoping for the best from players from within the organization to fill the captain’s shoes.

“Everyone realizes what Johnny means to this team and this organization,” Capuano said. “It’s time to focus on the people we do have moving forward. Players go down and other guys have to step up.”

Ryan Strome (pictured) and Anders Lee are the Bridgeport Sound Tigers’ top two scorers and they’ll both likely get the call to join the team. Making matters tougher for the Isles is Frans Nielsen’s broken hand that won’t be healed before they open up play on Thursday at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

No matter how well Strome and Lee might play, replacing Tavares’ production (he’s third in the NHL in points) will be nearly impossible.

Follow @JoeYerdonPHT