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Atlanta Thrashers 3, New York Islanders 4 FINAL

NHL.com @NHL

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - Despite New York's best attempts to hand a game to the Atlanta Thrashers, the Islanders still wound up with two points in the standings.

Alexei Yashin had two goals and an assist to extend his points streak to seven games in the Islanders' 4-3 victory over the Thrashers on Tuesday night.

Miroslav Satan and Jason Blake also scored to help the Islanders win for the third time in their last four games. Rick DiPietro made 34 saves for his fourth victory of the season.

The Islanders gave Atlanta 11 power-play chances - five in the final period - and a penalty shot, but DiPietro was the difference.

``Ricky made some key saves in the third period, and our penalty killers were better than they were earlier in the game,'' Islanders coach Steve Stirling said. ``There is no question that our goaltending has been our bright spot, night in and night out.''

Ilya Kovalchuk had two power-play goals and Bobby Holik also scored with the man advantage for Atlanta, which has lost five of its last six. Adam Berkhoel stopped 22 shots for the Thrashers.

``I wish I had all four back,'' Berkhoel said. ``I don't know if it was all mental breakdowns or what, but I didn't help myself or the team out.''

The Islanders scored on their second shot of the game, with Satan flipping a wrist shot over Berkhoel's glove. Satan has seven goals this season, five in his last four games.

Kovalchuk tied it at 3:49 of the second period, beating DiPietro off a rebound on a power play.

Atlanta's Patrik Stefan was awarded a penalty shot at 4:16 when he was hauled down on a breakaway. On the attempt, Stefan's wrist shot from about 20 feet missed the net completely.

``It might have gotten a piece of me, but I can't be sure,'' DiPietro said. ``All I know is that it didn't go in, and that's what counts.''

Atlanta scored on its next power-play opportunity to take a 2-1 lead at 7:39. Holik, parked in the slot, tipped a point shot home.

Yashin tied it at 11:00 on the power play on a tough angle shot. He has five goals and six assists during his seven-game points streak.

Yashin again connected on a power play goal to put New York ahead 3-2. He flipped a rebound of Satan's shot over Berkhoel.

``What I liked about tonight was that every goal we scored was a team goal,'' Yashin said. ``It seemed that everyone was getting involved in the goals, and we're going to continue to need that to keep on winning.''

Blake made it 4-2 with 36 seconds left in the period with a wrist shot.

Kovalchuk scored on a power play with 4:20 left.

DiPietro said that the new rules and the long layoff are contributors to the penalty-box parade going on this season.

``You have to remember that we haven't played in almost 18 months and that we were thrown a bunch of new rules all at once,'' DiPietro said. ``Guys are still adjusting to all this, but as time goes on, I think things will be much better.''

Sterling said most penalties are a result of poor defensive-zone coverage.

``Defensive-zone coverage is not brain surgery,'' Sterling said. ``You don't need a lot of talent to do it. All you need to do is work hard and have the will to do it.''

Notes: Coming into this season, the Thrashers were 7-11-2 lifetime against the Islanders, but had a 5-5-0 record at Nassau Coliseum. ... Atlanta's Scott Mellanby played in his 1,300th NHL game, becoming the 35th player in league history to reach the mark. ... Atlanta opened a stretch of five road games in a six-game span.

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