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ELMONT, NY — The New York Islanders defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 on Wednesday night to clinch the final Stanley Cup playoff berth and eliminate the Pittsburgh Penguins, ending their streak of 16 straight playoff appearances.

Brock Nelson had two goals, while goalie Ilya Sorokin made 17 saves.

The last time Pittsburgh didn’t take part in an NHL postseason was 2005-06, Sidney Crosby‘s rookie season. Their 16-year streak — the longest active run in the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB — included a qualification-round loss in 2020, when the NHL expanded the playoffs to 24 teams because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pittsburgh controlled its own playoff fate heading into Tuesday night but lost at home to the lowly Chicago Blackhawks 5-2. The Islanders needed only to earn a point against the Canadiens to clinch a postseason berth.

With the win, the Islanders (93 points) moved one point ahead of the idle Florida Panthers (92 points). Florida concludes its regular season on Thursday night at home against the Carolina Hurricanes.

If the Panthers win that game in regulation, overtime or a shootout, they’ll face the first-place team in the Metropolitan Division and the Islanders will face the Boston Bruins, who this week set NHL single-season records for wins and points.

If the Panthers lose to Carolina in overtime or a shootout to earn one point, they’ll face the Bruins. While the Islanders and Panthers would each have 93 points, New York would own the second tiebreaker, which is combined regulation and overtime wins. The Islanders would have 41, while Florida would have 40.

The Islanders took a 1-0 lead with 9:33 left in the first period Wednesday as Nelson snapped a shot past Montreal goalie Sam Montembeault. It was Nelson’s 35th goal of the season.

The Canadiens equaled the score on a one-timer from forward Rem Pitlick, but the Islanders recaptured the lead 1:19 later. After Zach Parise‘s shot ricocheted off the crossbar, Hudson Fasching tucked home the rebound for his 10th goal of the season.

Nelson scored again at 10:20 of the second period to make it 3-1, but the Canadiens weren’t done. Nick Suzuki scored a spectacular short-handed goal at 16:38, sliding to the ice on one knee and whacking the puck with one hand on his stick over Sorokin’s glove.

Anders Lee iced it with a power-play goal late in the third period.

The Islanders finish their regular season with a 42-31-9 record and 93 points, nine better than last season when they failed to qualify for the playoffs.

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Islanders claim final playoff spot; Penguins’ 16-year streak ends