Lightning clinch playoff spot with 7-4 victory over Chicago


Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy makes a save on a shot by Chicago Blackhawks’ Brandon Hagel (38) as Mikhail Sergachev also defends during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in Chicago. The Lightning won 7-4. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO (AP) — Alex Killorn had a power-play goal and scored into an empty net, and the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 7-4 to clinch a playoff berth for the fourth straight season.

Brayden Point stuffed in his team-leading 21st goal and added two assists. Erik Cernak, Yanni Gourde, Alex Barre-Boulet, and Blake Coleman also scored for defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay, which kept pace with first-place Carolina and second place Florida at the top of the tight Central Division.

The Lightning scored three straight goals in the second period to put the game away against sloppy Chicago.

Tampa Bay finished 7-0-1 against the Blackhawks in the pandemic-shortened season. Brandon Hagel, Dominik Kubalik, Wyatt Kalynuk and Duncan Keith had goals for the fading Blackhawks.

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