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GAME PREVIEW

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

(1:00 p.m. ET, TV: FSN NY | Radio: Bloomberg 1130) It's game 81 for the Islanders, who look to continue their late-season drive to the 2007 postseason against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center.

The Islanders have regained their form and received some help over the past few days to keep their playoff hopes alive for the weekend, but they'll still need a little help.

With three important games still to be played, the Islanders can control two, while the other is out of their hands. The one beyond their control is the Toronto/Montreal game to be played tonight at 7 pm. The other two are the Islanders contests against Philadelphia today, and New Jersey, tomorrow.

Simply put, the Islanders have to win both and the Maple Leafs have to knock off Montreal in regulation or overtime. If these three outcomes occur, the Islanders are in, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

On Thursday, everything went right for the Islanders. The Rangers did what they needed to do and defeated Montreal, while the Islanders took care of business against Toronto in their 5-2 win.

Wade Dubielewicz was solid in goal for the second consecutive games, earning the win with 28 saves. Five different Islanders scored, including Jason Blake, who notched his 40th goal of the season, and proved to be the game-winner. Tom Poti contributed with three assists to increase his team lead to 37.

Arron Asham and Mike Sillinger each chipped in with a goal and an assist as the Islanders converted on their only power play opportunity of the game.

The Islanders hope to continue their recent string of success against the Flyers and draw even with Montreal at 90 points. Over their past four meetings with Philadelphia, the Islanders have gone 4-0-0, but all of the meetings have been close. Two were two-goal games and the most recent ones were one-goal contests.

Their last meeting - on March 24 - was a nail-biting 4-3 Islanders victory. With less than five minutes remaining in the third period, Marc-Andre Bergeron used a burst of speed to beat a defender wide and fling a pass in front to Andy Hilbert, who re-directed the puck into the twine for the game-winner.

Since that loss, Philadelphia has continued to struggle, losing four out of five contests. Despite the rough stretch, the young Flyers squad has kept the games close against some tough competition, including New Jersey, the Rangers and Toronto.

Following the trade deadline, Philadelphia found their go-to-guy in goal - Martin Biron, who they acquired from Buffalo. Since joining the Flyers, Biron has compiled respectable numbers - a 3.01 GAA and .908 SV%.

The Islanders will be ready for a young energetic Flyers team, which they've encountered the past few meetings. Look for the Islanders to come out with equal jump, considering the situation they are in.

Chris King and Steve Mears have the call on Bloomberg Radio 1130, while Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe can be seen today on FSN NY.


BELOW ARE CHANNEL LISTINGS FOR FSN NY ON LONG ISLAND

CABLEVISION:
FSN NY: 72

DirecTV:
FSN NY: 624

DISH NETWORK:
FSN NY: 413

HDTV:
FSN NY: 725

VERIZON FiOS:
FSN NY: 69


GAME NOTES
STANDINGS:
Islanders
- 88 points, 4th place, Atlantic Division
Philadelphia - 54 points, 5th place, Atlantic Division

TEAM LEADERS:
Islanders
- Jason Blake, 40 goals; Tom Poti, 37 assists; Blake & Ryan Smyth, 67 points; Brendan Witt, 131 PIM
Philadelphia - Simon Gagne, 39 goals, 65 points; Joni Pitkanen, 39 assists; Ben Eager, 207 PIM

SPECIAL TEAMS:
Islanders
- Power play: 17.9 percent. Penalty killing: 81.8 percent
Philadelphia - Power play: 13.8 percent. Penalty killing: 84.8 percent

GOALTENDERS:
Islanders
- Wade Dubielewicz (2-1-0, 2.13 GAA, .938 SV%); Mike Dunham (4-10-3, 3.74, .889)
Philadelphia - Martin Biron (17-12-3, 3.03, .903); Antero Niittymaki (9-28-9, 3.39, .894)

2006-07 SEASON SERIES
Islanders: 5-2-0

LAST MEETING:
March 24, 2007 at the Wachovia Center: 4-3 Islanders win

HOME/ROAD RECORDS:
Philadelphia
- 9-23-7 at home
Islanders - 16-17-6 on the road


ISLANDERS
Goaltenders
1   Mike Dunham
34 Wade Dubielewicz

Defensemen
3   Tom Poti 
6   Sean Hill
14 Chris Campoli
21 Deron Quint
32 Brendan Witt
47 Marc-Andre Bergeron

Forwards
7   Trent Hunter
10 Richard Park 
11 Andy Hilbert
15 Jeff Tambellini
18 Mike Sillinger
25 Viktor Kozlov
27 Randy Robitaille
45 Arron Asham
55 Jason Blake
79 Alexei Yashin
81 Miroslav Satan
94 Ryan Smyth


PHILADELPHIA
Goaltenders

30 Antero Niittymaki
43 Martin Biron

Defensemen
2   Derian Hatcher
5   Braydon Coburn
6   Randy Jones
23 Denis Gauthier
28 Lasse Kukkonen
44 Joni Pitkanen
45 Alexandre Picard

Forwards
8   Geoff Sanderson
9   Scottie Upshall
11 Ryan Potulny
12 Simon Gagne
14 Denis Hamel
15 Stefan Ruzicka
17 Jeff Carter
18 Mike Richards
20 R.J. Umberger
22 Mike Knuble
24 Sami Kapanen
27 Dimitry Afanasenkov
29 Todd Fedoruk
33 Riley Cote
55 Ben Eager
61 Mike York

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