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Enforcer Gillies makes debut for Islanders

PHILADELPHIA - Trevor Gillies played in an NHL game Saturday for the first time since Nov. 6, 2006. Gillies, a 6-3, 220-pound enforcer who racked up 123 penalty minutes in 18 games for Bridgeport this season, played 3:16 in six shifts in a 2-1 loss to the Flyers.

"I was a little nervous at first, but I just tried to get some big bangs on some of their guys," said Gillies, who had no penalty minutes.

Gillies, who turned 31 Saturday, said the Flyers' physical brand of play matched what he had anticipated. "The game was tight,'' he said, "and I was just trying to be a physical presence and a positive voice on the bench for the boys."

Tavares still slumping

John Tavares' struggles continue. The rookie still ranks second on the team with 17 goals, but he has only two goals and four assists in his last 23 games.

"Even when we are scoring, I want to score every game," he said. "I want to get things going offensively. That's my job and that's what I'm trying to do."

Tavares' drop-off coincides with the team's recent lack of offense. The Islanders have scored two or fewer goals in the last five games. "You have to score goals to win," he said. "We've got to put pucks in the back of the net."

Isles files

Along with Rick DiPietro and Jeff Tambellini, left wing Blake Comeau was scratched to make room for Gillies . . . Each team had 32 shots on goal . . . D Freddy Meyer tied with F Sean Bergenheim for the team lead in hits with four.

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