Marty Biron began his weekend with big plans, and none involved taking a break from life's difficulties.

No doubt, Biron has had his problems. But when you are an NHL goalie trying to right yourself, you attack the problems rather than shrink from them.

Biron's way of going about it was simple: He watched video of himself during last season's playoffs and realized he had to stoke the fire that had burned within him while he led the Flyers to the Eastern Conference championship round.

"I wasn't happy with the way I was playing the last two, three weeks, a month maybe," Biron said yesterday after stopping 38 shots in the Flyers' 5-1 win over the New York Islanders at the Wachovia Center. "You sit down and you do a little bit of searching. So I tried to get fired up, really tried to get myself going.

"I looked at the playoffs last year and there was a lot of emotion, a lot of energy, and I'm trying to bring that now," he said. "I brought it to practice this week. That's the way I look at it now."

The Flyers have been nervous about their goaltending, and rightfully so. Recently, Biron has had more time to think about what's gone wrong while sitting on the bench behind Antero Niittymaki, who started five of the previous six games before yesterday's.

But Niittymaki is sidelined by the flu, which gives Biron a chance to use the weekend as a personal turning point. The Flyers play the New York Rangers today at Madison Square Garden.

"I've got to play better," Biron said. "I've got to come up with some big games. You bring that energy, that fire, and you get going."

For Biron, so far, so good.

He was tested early and often by the lowly Islanders and stopped all 17 first-period shots as Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell gave him a 2-0 lead. During the second period, as the Flyers were sleep-walking, Biron stared down the Isles' Sean Bergenheim on a clean breakaway from the blue line. Bergenheim tried to deke Biron and slip the puck through his leg pads, but the goalie clamped the pads shut.

Biron took his shutout bid into the third period and made two key saves in rapid succession, smothering a Mike Comrie shot from the slot after Flyers defenseman Ryan Parent gave away the puck. Then Biron quickly closed off the corner on a jammer by Richard Park.

Biron's shutout was ruined by Andy Hilbert, who pulled the Isles within 2-1 with a high laser from near the top of the circle with 13 minutes, 45 seconds remaining.

The Flyers awakened after coach John Stevens shuffled two of his lines, scoring three goals in 1:07 to break it open. The third and fourth goals, both unassisted, were credited to Matt Carle and Arron Asham. Simon Gagne finished the scoring with a penalty shot.

"I thought Marty was solid," Stevens said. "I thought early on they threw a lot of pucks at the net, especially on the power play. Then in the second period, we got a little sloppy, and Marty looked good. He looked square to the puck and his balance looked good, and it looked like his confidence is coming back."