TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Andrei Vasilevskiy made 38 saves, Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos scored 1:48 apart midway through the second period, and the Tampa Bay Lightning earned their sixth straight playoff berth with a 5-0 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday night.
Tampa Bay will play Toronto in the first round of the postseason.
The Lightning, who have appeared in the Stanley Cup Final each of the past three years and won back to back in 2020 and 2021, have reached the playoffs in nine of coach Jon Cooper’s 10 full-seasons with the team.
Mikhail Sergachev, Tanner Jeannot and Brayden Point also scored for the Lightning.
Vasilevskiy has two shutouts in his last three game and four overall this season. He has allowed one goal during Tampa Bay’s three-game winning streak.
The Islanders hold a two-point lead over Florida for the top wild card in the Eastern Conference.
New York goalie Ilya Sorokin was pulled with 8:15 left in the second after allowing four goals on 21 shots. He is 0-4 against the Lightning.
Point’s power-play goal in the third period was his 48th this season, and joined Stamkos (36, 2011-12) as the only Tampa Bay players to have 30 goals at home during a single season.
Jeannot’s goal came in the left wing’s 18th game with Tampa Bay after being acquired from Nashville.
Kucherov had a breakaway goal 9:57 into the second before Stamkos made it 4-0 and ended Sorokin’s night at 11:45.
Stamkos tied Islanders Hall of Famer Denis Potvin for the 75th on the career point list with 1,052. The center has 514 goals, which is one away from tying Pierre Turgeon for 40th place.
Sergachev had a first-period goal, while Jeannot scored early in the second. Sergachev left in the third after hurting his right leg.
Darren Raddysh and Point both had two assists. It was Raddysh’s first NHL points, coming in his 16th career game.
Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said C Mathew Barzal, who hasn’t played since leaving a game at Boston on Feb. 18 with a lower-body injury, is ready to resume staking.
“Him skating is extremely positive, and then we just go from there,” Lamoriello said. “How long it takes, I couldn’t tell you.”
RW Oliver Wahlstrom, injured on Dec. 27, is out for the rest of the season due to a lower-body injury. Lamoriello said Wahlstrom will definitely be ready before the summer is over.
Islanders: At Carolina on Sunday night.
Lightning: At the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.