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Bates keeps lighting the lamp in Islanders win

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.

Game 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.