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Flyers Power Past Islanders

The Philadelphia Flyers had plenty of chances to show off the league's best power play.

The Flyers got two man-advantage goals from John LeClair and one each by Daymond Langkow and Simon Gagne as Philadelphia beat the New York Islanders 5-1 on Saturday night for its fifth straight victory.

"There's no doubt about it - we have to be smarter with the penalties that we're taking," Islanders coach Butch Goring said. "Our penalty killing was terrible tonight."

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  • It was the wrong night for New York to be in the penalty box. The Flyers are tops in the NHL in power plays and own the best road power-play unit.

    Things started well for New York in the first period, but the Islanders were unable to sustain it.

    Playing before the first non-Rangers sellout crowd since Dec. 22, 1998, the Islanders killed one penalty in the opening period and took a 1-0 lead when Mariusz Czerkawski beat goalie John Vanbiesbrouck at 16:41.

    Czerkawski had another opportunity early in the second, but hit the goal post. After Aris Brimanis took an interference penalty for New York, teammate Jamie Rivers took a needless cross-checking penalty, which gave the Flyers a two-man advantage.

    It only took seven seconds to tie the game.

    Langkow took a centering pass from Valeri Zelepukin and stuffed the puck past Kevin Weekes at 6:26. Gagne scored on the back end of th advantage 21 seconds later on a wrist shot off a nice cross-ice pass from Mark Recchi.

    Rivers, who was surprised he was called for a penalty, said the Flyers bring out the aggressiveness in the Islanders.

    "We took a lot of intense penalties," Rivers said. "In a game like this, your emotions and intensity run wild."

    Philadelphia went up 3-1 at 13:10 when LeClair tipped Keith Jones' pass past Weekes on another power play.

    "Tonight, it seemed like everything we shot went in," Recchi said. "We were getting turnovers and got them scrambling a bit."

    Late goals in the third by Craig Berube at 16:36 his first in 72 games and LeClair at 19:01 sealed the win. The Flyers trail Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference-leading New Jersey by four points with a game in hand.

    "They were hot for a long time," Recchi said of the Devils. "It's very difficult to keep that kind of a roll up over a full 82-game schedule, and we're picking the right time to get hot."

    New York lost its third straight game.

    "We can take lessons from them and learn," Czerkawski said. "We have to have emotion. We have to hit people and be nasty. We have to be in people's faces, and yet we have to control all of that. The head has to work at the same time the body works."

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