Islanders 4, Flyers 2

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PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Wade Dubielewicz had five minutes to mentally prepare for his first NHL action. It worked out better that way.

Dubielewicz came off the bench to stop all 14 shots in his NHL debut to lead the New York Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.

With starting goalie Rick DiPietro out because of the flu and backup Garth Snow leaving after one period with a groin injury, Dubielewicz was told late in the intermission that he would be starting the second period.

“If I had all day to think about it, I probably would have psyched myself out or got too fired up,” said Dubielewicz, who was recalled from Bridgeport of the AHL on Wednesday. “It was a nice, quick introduction to the National Hockey League.”

Adrian Aucoin scored two goals in the first period, and Mark Parrish added the game-winner on a breakaway in the second to give the Islanders their fourth straight victory.

Dubielewicz made three sprawling saves in the second and reached back with his stick to stop two of the shots from crossing the goal line.

Dubielewicz stopped two more shots on a 1:52 five-on-three advantage early in the third. Philadelphia, which leads the NHL in power-play efficiency, was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.

“What you saw is what you get. He wasn’t nervous,” Islanders coach Steve Stirling said. “That’s not his style. He’s a real composed kid. That’s how he plays.”

John LeClair and Michal Handzus scored for Philadelphia, which had won two in a row but fell three points behind Tampa Bay for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Flyers center Jeremy Roenick returned to the lineup after missing 19 games because of a broken jaw and a concussion, but registered only one shot on goal.

“I felt great,” Roenick said. “My wind was a little short, so I tried to take shorter shifts. (The protective cage) didn’t bother me as much as I thought it might.”

With the score tied at 2, Parrish took an outlet pass from Kenny Jonsson and split Flyers defensemen Randy Jones and Kim Johnsson before beating goalie Robert Esche to put the Islanders ahead 6:02 into the second period.

“All their guys were going in one direction and I was going in the other direction,” Parrish said. “Somehow I was able to get it under Esche.”

Aucoin, last week’s NHL defensive player of the week, scored twice from long range to tie it after the Flyers took a pair of first-period leads.

LeClair scored the game’s first goal four minutes in by drawing Snow out of the crease and wristing the puck to the right of the goalie for his 23rd goal.

The goal ended the Islanders’ shutout streak at 140:58.

Aucoin answered 3:27 later with a blistering slap shot from inside the blue line that sailed over Esche’s shoulder and off the inside of the post.

The Flyers made it 2-1 when Handzus chipped a rebound of a shot by Mark Recchi over Snow. Recchi’s second assist of the game was his 74th point of the season and 1,200th of his career, making him the 40th player in NHL history to reach the milestone.

Aucoin then tallied his ninth goal of the season from farther away, firing a slapper from the red line that squeezed between Esche’s pads 12:11 into the first period.

The goal was Aucoin’s fifth in his last five games.

“My daughter was born (on March 15),” said Aucoin. “It seems like, since that day, everything has been working a lot better for me.”

Former Flyer Janne Niinimaa scored a power-play goal 6:49 into the period toprovide the final margin.

Notes

Flyers captain Keith Primeau, who suffered a concussion in the same game as Roenick, had hoped to return to the lineup, but was still experiencing symptoms early in the day. Primeau might return Saturday against the Rangers. … New York’s Jason Blake missed the final two periods because of an ankleinjury.

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Three Stars

  Game Winning Goal
M. Parrish M. Parrish
New York Islanders
Scored at 6:02 of 2nd

Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Garth Snow NYI 6 4
Robert Esche Phi 15 11