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With win over Islanders, Flyers keep rising

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- Now that they're even, the Philadelphia Flyers are looking to go up.

Right winger Matt Read scored two goals for the second straight game to help the Philadelphia Flyers beat the New York Islanders 5-2 Saturday night.

Right winger Wayne Simmonds and centers Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn also scored for Philadelphia.

The Flyers (10-10-2) are 9-3-2 since a 1-7 start.

"We believed in ourselves and we're playing better as a team," Schenn said. "We still have a long way to go. We can't be happy with .500. That doesn't get you in the playoffs. We have to build off this and keep going."

Center John Tavares and left winger Eric Boulton had New York's goals.

The Islanders (8-13-3), who are last in the Metropolitan Division, have lost eight of 10.

"We're just fragile right now, but you're going to have to learn that you might have to win 2-1, 1-0," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "As coaches, if we were looking at it and it was structurally or systematically, we would change it for sure. But when you talk about battle level or when you talk about protecting the wall and not protecting the danger area ... you don't change that, that's hockey."

After a scoreless first period, the Flyers scored three goals in a span of 3:02 in the opening four minutes of the second period to take a 3-0 lead.

Read scored his seventh goal on a one-timer in front to make it 1-0. He got his eighth goal into an empty net in the final minute to secure the victory after the Flyers nearly blew a 3-2 lead.

"I've had a little bit of luck," Read said. "Been in the right spot at the right time."

Simmonds scored 59 seconds after Read's first goal on a wrister off a pass from center Vincent Lecavalier during a 3-on-2 breakaway.

"We came back hard defensively," Simmonds said. "The puck turned over in the middle and we had four guys up on the rush. I was yelling at Vinny and Vinny just dished the puck and I took a shot and it went in. We had a lot of traffic going to the net, so it was nice."

Giroux then sent goalie Kevin Poulin to the bench with a power-play goal. He ripped one in from the left faceoff circle for his third goal of the season. The Flyers' captain has three goals in the last seven games after not scoring any in the first 15.

Tavares got the Islanders within 3-1 on his 10th goal late in the second period. Left wing Thomas Vanek set it up with a crisp pass.

Boulton snapped a 72-game goal drought to cut it to 3-2 early in the third period. Center Casey Cizikas won a face-off against right winger Adam Hall and sent the puck to Boulton, who beat Mason with a backhander in front with no defensemen close to him.

"It's frustrating to be losing these types of games where you show what you're capable of and you kind of have these lapses where it costs us and they seem to pile in the goals whenever we're in those moments," Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald said.

Schenn gave the Flyers a 4-2 lead on a wrister into the top shelf with 7:39 left in the game.

"We were on our heels and that sealed it," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "It was a big play by him."

NOTES: Islanders G Kevin Poulin started his seventh straight game in place of injured starter Evgeni Nabokov, who is out with a groin injury. Poulin was benched after giving up three goals on the first six shots in the second period. ... Islanders D Andrew MacDonald and C Frans Nielsen were in the lineup after getting banged up in Friday night's loss at Pittsburgh. ... The Flyers play eight of their next nine games on the road, starting at Florida on Monday. ... Philadelphia has scored a power-play goal in six consecutive games. ... The Flyers scored at least three goals for only the sixth time this season.
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