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Briere gives Flyers key win, scores only goal in SO of victory over Islanders

Philadelphia Flyers' Mike Richards (18) shoots the puck past New York Islanders goalie Wade Dubielewicz (34) to tie the game during the third period of a hockey game Saturday, March 29, 2008  in Uniondale,NY. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Frank Franklin II

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Philadelphia Flyers' Mike Richards (18) shoots the puck past New York Islanders goalie Wade Dubielewicz (34) to tie the game during the third period of a hockey game Saturday, March 29, 2008 in Uniondale,NY. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Frank Franklin II

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Danny Briere scored the only goal in the shootout for the Philadelphia Flyers, who rallied twice in the third period and escaped with a 4-3 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Wade Dubielewicz made a career-high 51 saves against the Flyers and then stopped Mike Richards and Jeff Carter in the first two rounds of the shootout. Antero Niittymaki matched him at the other end with saves against Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo and Richard Park.

That set up Briere for the winner on the final attempt of the tiebreaker. When the puck crossed the goal line, he celebrated with an enthusiastic fist pump.

The Flyers jumped back over Boston, which won earlier in the day, into seventh place in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Philadelphia is tied in points with the sixth-place Rangers and is three ahead of Washington, the first team below the post-season cutoff.

The Flyers forged their second tie of the third period with 4:22 left in regulation on Richards' 28th goal. Nielsen, back after a 13-game absence caused by a shoulder injury, pushed the Islanders in front 3-2 at 10:19 after Joffrey Lupul tied it for Philadelphia seven minutes earlier.

By the time the game reached overtime, the Flyers already had a season-high 49 shots. Philadelphia finished with a 54-30 edge. The Islanders played most of overtime in the Flyers end, helped by a pair of power plays, but couldn't get the winning shot past Niittymaki.

Philadelphia has won five of six, the only blemish a shootout loss at New Jersey on Friday night. The Flyers took seven of eight from the also-ran Islanders, who were officially eliminated from post-season contention with a loss at Philadelphia last Sunday.

Park and Blake Comeau staked New York to a 2-0 lead that was erased on goals by Briere and Lupul. Dubielewicz was beaten by the Flyers for the first time in his career, despite topping his previous best save total of 44 from earlier this season.

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