The Pittsburgh Penguins had a chance to clinch a playoff spot at home on Friday night when they faced a New York Islanders team that clinched the night before.

But holding to their current form, the Penguins (3-5-2 in their last 10) lost to New York 3-1 and now face a must-win situation at Buffalo against the Sabres in their last game of the season on Saturday to ensure their ninth straight playoff appearance.

“It’s a high-pressure situation, there is no doubt about that,” said Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi, who scored the Penguins’ only goal Friday. “But we can’t make more out of it than it really is and that’s to go up there and win a hockey game. It’s as simple as that. We have to win.”

The Islanders are now assured of finishing third in the Metropolitan Division and will face the Washington Capitals in a first-round series in the Eastern Conference.

The loss puts the Penguins in a battle with the Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins for the last two playoff spots in the East. The Senators, who are in the top wild-card spot with 97 points, are in Philadelphia against the Flyers on Saturday. The Bruins, who are two points back and currently out of the playoff picture, are at Tampa Bay on Saturday against the Lightning. The Penguins are in the second wild-card spot.

The Montreal Canadiens will look to wrap up the Atlantic Division on Saturday at Toronto, with the Lightning nipping at their heals, two points back. If Tampa wins and Montreal loses, the Lightning will take the crown on the first tiebreaker.

The Western Conference field is set, with the only matters to be decided Saturday are home-ice advantage in the Vancouver Canucks-Calgary Flames first-round series and the seedings of the Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild.

If the Flames win in Winnipeg and the Canucks lose at home vs. Edmonton, the first-round matchup will start in Calgary. Otherwise, the Canucks own home ice.

If the Wild win at St. Louis against the Blues and the Blackhawks lose at Colorado, Minnesota will jump into third in the Central Division and bump Chicago down into the top wild-card spot.

Islanders 3, Penguins 1

PITTSBURGH — John Taveras’ goal early in the third period lifted the New York Islanders to a 3-1 victory over the Penguins as Pittsburgh again failed to lock down a playoff berth with its fifth straight loss.

Despite being 4-7-2 in their last 13 games, the Islanders (47-28-6) are headed to the playoffs. They clinched a playoff spot Thursday despite being off when the Boston Bruins lost to the Florida Panthers.

The Islanders are now assured of finishing third in the Metropolitan Division and will face the Washington Capitals in a first-round series in the Eastern Conference.

Taveras scored his 37th goal with 17:14 remaining to break a 1-1 tie, converting a rebound when right winger Kyle Okposo’s shot from the blue line caromed off goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury’s left pad.

With two days left in the season, Taveras and Penguins center Sidney Crosby are tied for the league lead with 84 points. The Dallas Stars’ Jamie Benn has 83.

Left winger Michael Grabner added a goal, his eighth, on an end-to-end rush, with 3:40 remaining to pad the Islanders’ lead to 3-1. The Consol Center crowd then spent the game’s final minutes booing the fading Penguins.

Center Casey Cizikas also scored as the Islanders won for just the fourth time in their last 22 games in Pittsburgh. Goaltender Jaroslav Halak stopped 37 shots.

Defenseman Rob Scuderi scored the Penguins’ lone goal in the dying moment of the second period, his first in over two years.