Lightning regain top spot, Blues seal play-off berth


The Tampa Bay Lightning regained top spot in the NHL's Atlantic Division after a 7-4 win over the New York Islanders on Friday.

The Lightning trailed the Florida Panthers by two points heading into the fixture against the Islanders but moved back into first alongside the Panthers on 91 points with the big win at the Amalie Arena.

Brock Nelson had the Islanders ahead inside the first nine minutes before Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov put the Lightning ahead, and Steven Stamkos made it 3-1 early in the second period. 

Islanders' Shane Prince pulled one back just 20 seconds later and another from Johnny Boychuk made it 3-3 heading into the final period. 

Nikolai Kulemin cancelled out a goal from Andrej Sustr that put the Lightning ahead, but the home side proved too strong in the end, with three unanswered goals from Tyler Johnson, Jason Garrison and Victor Hedman securing victory for Tampa Bay. 

The St. Louis Blues needed to beat the Vancouver Canucks to seal a fifth-consecutive post-season place and they did in style with a 4-0 win against their Canadian opponents. 

Kyle Brodziak and Robby Fabbri scored first-period goals to put the Blues in control before a rare effort from Carl Gunnarsson made it 3-0 in the third. 

The Canucks piled on the pressure in the final period to get themselves in the game but Joel Edmundson wrapped up the result with just under eight minutes left in regulation time.

In the day's other game, the Washington Capitals needed an overtime goal from John Carlson to seal a 1-0 victory against the New Jersey Devils.