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Islanders 7, Thrashers 3

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ATLANTA (AP) - Shawn Bates is making the most of his recent offensive chances.

Bates scored twice, including a goal in the closing minutes of the third period, to help the New York Islanders to their third straight victory, 7-3 over the Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday night.

Bates, who has eight goals - six in five games - clinched the win with just over seven minutes left and the Islanders leading 4-3 when he beat Thrashers goaltender Adam Berkhoel on a breakaway just as teammate Alexei Zhitnik's penalty expired.

``I'm getting some good scoring chances,'' he said. ``I'm playing with confidence and it helps when you get good chances.''

Linemate Jason Blake, who added a goal, helped set up both of Bates' tallies.

``Jason did a good job of getting me the puck,'' Bates said.

``Blake played a great game and has been playing well,'' Islanders coach Steve Stirling said. ``That whole line has been performing well. They play against other top lines and shut them down while scoring goals.''

Miroslav Satan, who also had two goals, made it 6-3 with about four minutes remaining on a power play. Blake made it a rout with another power-play goal with 27 seconds left, assisted by Bates, in the Islanders' highest-scoring game of the season.

``It was a relief,'' Satan said. ``It was looking like they might be able to come back. After that we were able to breathe a little more.''

Atlanta had outscored opponents 19-2 in winning three in a row. Ilya Kovalchuk scored a franchise-record six goals in his previous two games, but was scoreless against the Islanders.

New York took a 2-0 first-period lead.

Bates is one goal shy of his 2003-04 total. He opened the scoring just over six minutes in and Trent Hunter scored his third on a power play with about three minutes remaining in the period.

Atlanta's Jaroslav Modry scored seven minutes into the second period to make it 2-1, beating goalie Garth Snow on a 20-foot slap shot from the left side.

The Islanders made it 3-1 on Arron Asham's third goal of the season three minutes later.

The Thrashers got within a goal again when Peter Bondra scored his 10th goal with less than eight minutes to go, but Satan responded with his 10th for the Islanders five minutes later for a 4-2 lead.

Atlanta made it a one-goal game again when Jim Slater scored his third goal less than three minutes into the third period to get to 4-3.

``We were forced to play catch-up hockey all game long. We kept coming and coming, but basically we ran out of juice,'' Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said.

``The way we kept coming back, I did feel like we were going to catch up to them at some point,'' Berkhoel said. ``What happened to us tonight is behind us. We know how we can play, and when we're all clicking we are a scary team.''

Marc Savard, Atlanta's leading scorer with 26 points, added two assists.

The Thrashers were trying to match a franchise-best four wins in a row, which they did twice in 2003-04 - on Nov. 16-23 and on Dec. 6-12.

The Islanders were 3-of-12 on power-play attempts, the Thrashers were 0-for-8.

Notes: Atlanta F Patrik Stefan missed his seventh straight game with an oblique muscle strain. ... Thrashers G Mike Durham was placed on the injured list Tuesday, and G Michael Garnett was recalled from Chicago (AHL). ... Islanders captain Alexei Yashin scored 300th NHL goal in Monday night's 3-2 win at Pittsburgh.

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