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Associated Press
12/5/2006 10:23:10 PM


UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - Dany Heatley scored twice, Jason Spezza had three points, and Martin Gerber won the battle of backup goalies to lead the Ottawa Senators to another victory over the New York Islanders, 4-2 Tuesday night.

Spezza set up Heatley's first-period goal and defenceman Joe Corvo's man-advantage goal in the second restored Ottawa's two-goal lead. Spezza netted his 13th goal late in the middle frame to make it 2-0 and send the Senators on the way to their fifth straight win over the Islanders.

Heatley added his 18th goal with 7:50 left to make it 4-2.

That prevented New York from extending its slim edge in the Atlantic Division. The Islanders are on top of New Jersey and the New York Rangers by one point and haven't owned a bigger advantage in the division since they had a two-point lead on Feb. 18, 1990.

Even with Gerber getting the start over No. 1 goalie Ray Emery, the Senators didn't slow down. They won their fourth straight and for the eighth time in nine outings. Ottawa improved to 27-4 with eight ties against the Islanders since Feb. 12, 1996.

Mike Dunham, getting the start in place of regular goalie Rick DiPietro, fought the puck throughout and gave up big rebounds. But he kept the Islanders in it early when Ottawa held a 17-4 shots advantage through the first period. He finished with 31 saves.

Andy Hilbert's first goal of the season brought the Islanders within 2-1 at 9:38 of the second period but Daniel Alfredsson found Corvo cutting to the net and hit him with a backdoor pass that was steered in at the right post with 49.4 seconds left in the frame - just eight ticks into Ottawa's third power play.

Jason Blake made it 3-2 at 6:42 of the third, doing the grunt work to set up the goal, too. Blake checked Anton Volchenkov hard into the boards, forcing a turnover and leaving the Ottawa forward with an injured arm. The puck went behind the net to Bruno Gervais, who made a quick pass in front to Blake, who scored his 15th goal.

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