Series (Game 1 of 4)

New York leads 3-1

Game 1: Saturday, October 19th
Game 2: Saturday, January 11th
Game 3: Sunday, January 19th
Game 4: Saturday, April 5th

Islanders 5

(2-2-0, 5 pts)

Jets 4

(0-4-1, 1 pts)

7:00 PM ET, October 19, 2002

Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

1 2 3 T
NYI 2 1 25
WPG 1 0 34

D. Scatchard (Islanders - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

J. Wiemer (Islanders - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

A. Sutton (Jets - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Isles extend unbeaten streak to three games

ATLANTA (AP) -- Jason Wiemer capitalized on the New York Islanders' recent good fortune at the expense of the hard-luck Atlanta Thrashers.

His third-period wrist shot from the blue line found its way into the net and sparked the Islanders to a 5-4 victory over the winless Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday night.

''Fortunately, it went in,'' Wiemer said of the short-handed goal, his first tally with the Islanders. ''If you shoot the puck enough, eventually it's going to go in.''

The Thrashers had just scored twice early in the third period to tie the game 3-3 and were on a power play. Wiemer pulled up at the Atlanta line and floated a shot through traffic that eluded Milan Hnilicka and put the Islanders back ahead with just over 12 minutes left.

''I didn't see it at all,'' Hnilicka said. ''He shot it through three guys and I heard it hit off the crossbar behind me.''

After an 0-2 start, the Islanders are 2-0-1 in their last three games.

Claude Lapointe added his first goal of the season for New York four minutes later and it proved to be the game-winner when Vyacheslav Kozlov scored with 1:51 left to give the Thrashers one last hope.

''We were disappointed (to surrender the lead), but we still had confidence,'' Islanders forward Dave Scatchard said. ''The short-handed goal gave us a boost when we needed a cushion. I didn't think we would blow a second lead.''

Atlanta, which has surrendered 13 goals in two nights, dropped to 0-4-0-1. It is the worst five-game start in Atlanta's four seasons. The Thrashers started the 2000-01 season 0-3-2, and didn't earn their first win until the seventh game.

The Thrashers are doing all the things befitting a winless team. They have shuffled the lines, benched key players and, before Saturday night's game, they held a players meeting. But it only resulted in another tough loss for a team that has led in three of its five games.

Dan Snyder brought Atlanta within one goal, and Kirill Safronov scored his first career goal on a blind behind-the-back pass from Lubos Bartecko to make it 3-3.

But the celebration was short-lived as Wiemer reclaimed New York's lead just 2 minutes later.

''It's like, are you kidding?'' lamented Atlanta coach Curt Fraser, whose team lost 8-5 the night before at Tampa Bay. ''What other bad things can happen to these guys?

''It was unbelievable. I thought for sure we were going to find a way to score an ugly goal. We had enough chances there. If we could have gotten just one more ... what a great finish that would have been.''

New York outshot Atlanta 42-23, and the teams combined to go 1-for-14 on the power play.

The Islanders led 2-1 after the first period on Scatchard's third of the season and Kenny Jonsson's first. In between, Atlanta's Patrik Stefan tipped an Andy Sutton blast from the point past Chris Osgood for his third goal of the season. There were no power-play goals in the opening period despite 10:41 of power-play time on seven minor penalties.

The Islanders dominated play in the second period, outshooting the Thrashers 21-5, but had only one goal to show for it. Mark Parrish scored his third of the season at 5:41, converting a nice crossing pass from Shawn Bates after Bates deked Milan Hnilicka to the ice.

''Obviously, this is not the start we wanted,'' said Hnilicka, ''but I'm very positive we can work our way out of it. ... We want to get our game to where we want it to be as soon as we can. We want to avoid any changes, so it's important that we stick together as a team.''

Game notes

After being demoted to the fourth line in the last game, Atlanta C Pascal Rheaume was a healthy scratch Saturday, as was D Yannick Tremblay. ... D Francis Lessard made his Thrashers debut and drew cheers for his first-period fight with Wiemer and second-period bout with Eric Cairns. He also scored his first career point with a third-period assist. ... Kozlov had a goal and an assist to give him points in all five games this season, as does RW Dany Heatley ... Osgood is 5-0 against Atlanta. ... Islanders LW Raffi Torres has an assist in each of the three games since he was recalled from AHL Bridgeport.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press