Travis Hamonic pointed out the obvious yesterday.
"We're not dead in the water and we know that," Hamonic said roughly 14 hours after the Isles took a hard punch to the gut in Philadelphia. "We still have a great opportunity in front of us."
The Islanders' whirlwind hour or so on Tuesday night included rallying from a three-goal deficit to tie the Flyers with 28 seconds to go, losing a chance at clinching a playoff berth with 2.1 seconds to go on Jaroslav Halak's big mistake and then seeing the Senators rally from three goals down to win in overtime over the Penguins.
But with a night's sleep and some calm meetings Wednesday, the Islanders are hoping to erase the despair from Tuesday night and focus on what's ahead.
If the Senators lose to the Rangers in any fashion Thursday night -- that's regulation, OT or shootout -- the Islanders are in the playoffs. Failing that, the Isles need a single point from games tomorrow night in Pittsburgh and Saturday at home against Columbus to clinch.
They'll need more than a single point to avoid falling into one of the two wild-card slots, which would mean facing either the Canadiens, Lightning or Rangers in the opening round -- a hard fall after the Isles were atop the Metro Division at 32-14-1 following their 4-1 win over the Rangers back on Jan. 27.
After Tuesday's loss, the Isles are 14-14-5 since then. There have been some unlucky results, but overall that is not the standing of a team ready to do damage in the postseason.
The Islanders were saying otherwise Wednesday.
"We've had some games not go our way, games we probably deserved to win," said John Tavares, who had three points on Tuesday and goes into tonight's game tied with Sidney Crosby for the NHL points lead at 83. "That's the way it is this time of year. We need to make sure we get the results and bear down in important parts of the game."
Notes & quotes: Jack Capuano said Cal Clutterbuck, who was a gameday scratch on Tuesday, would be closest to returning among the Isles' three injured forwards -- Matt Martin and Frans Nielsen did not make the trip to Philly . . . On Calvin de Haan, who was a healthy scratch for the fifth straight game, Capuano said: "I'm sure he's not happy he's not in, none of the guys that are out should be. He's ready to get back in there." . . . The Isles signed D Kyle Burroughs, their 2013 seventh-round pick, to an entry-level deal.