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by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

Official Scoresheet | Official Super Stats

By Jason Lockhart

The Islanders completed the first of three steps towards making the postseason by defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2, Saturday at the Wachovia Center.

Wade Dubielewicz had another strong game in goal, stopping 28 of 30 shots for his third consecutive win. The Islanders used two power-play goals and one even-strength tally to take a 3-0 lead halfway through the second period. The game got interesting in the final minute, when Mike Richards tallied a shorthanded goal to make it 3-2, but Tom Poti secured the victory with a power-play, empty-net tally in final minute.

"Yashin, Smyth and Sillinger played well on the power play," said Ted Nolan. "We couldn't ask for a better time to get the power play going."

The win means the Islanders have become instant Toronto Maple Leafs fans. A win by Toronto over Montreal tonight would give the Islanders an opportunity to control their own destiny. The Islanders would then have to knock off the New Jersey Devils tomorrow afternoon to reach the 2007 postseason.

"Go Leafs Go," said Nolan following the game. "We wanted to have that opportunity to control our fate and we need to have some lady luck on our side tonight."

In the opening period, the Islanders came out like a team fighting for their playoff lives.

Miroslav Satan blasted a slapshot past Antero Niittymaki, who made 28 saves, to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead on the power play at 3:36 of the first period.

Dubielewicz had to stand his ground the final eight minutes of the first period as the Flyers took control of the game. Dubielewicz stopped all 11 shots in the first period.

The Islanders struck again on the power play early in the second period to grab a 2-0 lead. Alexei Yashin let a slap shot go, which blazed past Niittymaki.

"They were giving me space on the power play," said Yashin. "Poti gave me a great pass and luckily my shot went in."

Richard Park gave the Islanders a 3-0 advantage midway through the second period with some hard work around the net. After poking the puck through Niittymaki, Park retrieved his own pass and backhanded it into the open net, while being hauled down from behind.

Simon Gagne cut the lead to 3-1 on the power play in the final five minutes of the second period. The goal was Gagne's 40th goal of the season and 200th of his career.

The Flyers made it interesting with just over a minute to go in the game. Richards scored on an impressive individual effort while shorthanded to make it 3-2.

Poti put the game away with an empty-netter in the final minute off a feed from Ryan Smyth.

Tomorrow's game against the Devils can be seen on MSG Network at 3:30 pm. The pre-game show begins at 3 pm.

Five Stars of the Game:
1. Wade Dubielewicz:
You can't say enough about Dubie's performance the past week
2. Ryan Smyth: Contributed in all facets of the game, one assist, 22:14 TOI
3. Alexei Yashin: Scored a huge goal for the Islanders
4. Mike Richards: An outstanding goal to make the game close
5. Richard Park: His hard work paid off in the second

Stat of the Game: The Islanders scored three power play goals for the first time in four games.

Slapshots: Wade Dubielewicz has not allowed a first-period goals in three consecutive starts...The Islanders are 22-1-4 when leading after one period...The Islanders have out-scored Philadelphia 10-4 in the first period of the season series...This is the Islanders' fifth consecutive win over the Flyers...Alexei Yashin has points in eight of nine games.

34 Wade Dubielewicz
1   Mike Dunham

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

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

30 Antero Niittymaki
43 Martin Biron

2   Derian Hatcher - 5   Braydon Coburn
44 Joni Pitkanen - 28 Lasse Kukkonen
45 Alexandre Picard - 6   Randy Jones
12 Simon Gagne - 17 Jeff Carter - 9   Scottie Upshall
22 Mike Knuble - 20 R.J. Umberger - 15 Stefan Ruzicka
27 Dimitry Afanasenkov - 11 Ryan Potulny - 33 Riley Cote
55 Ben Eager - 18 Mike Richards - 24 Sami Kapanen


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