The Islanders' Pierre Engvall reacts after assisting on a goal...

The Islanders' Pierre Engvall reacts after assisting on a goal by Jean-Gabriel Pageau during the first period of an NHL game against the Devils in Newark, N.J., on Monday. Credit: AP/Seth Wenig

NEWARK — There was little uncertainty or drama in this one as the Islanders clinched a playoff berth, unlike the majority of their roller-coaster season that cost coach Lane Lambert his job on Jan. 20 in favor of Patrick Roy and saw them five points out of a postseason spot on March 31.

“It’s funny how it is because, 10 games ago, no one really gave us a chance to be part of that playoff picture,” Roy said. “Now, here we are. It’s nice to see our guys be rewarded for that hard work.”

The Islanders, extending their season-best point streak to 7-0-1, methodically topped the Devils, 4-1, on Monday night at Prudential Center. That clinched third place in the Metropolitan Division and a first-round rematch against the Hurricanes, who got locked into second place when the Rangers beat the Senators, 4-0.

It marks their fifth playoff appearance in six seasons under president/general manager Lou Lamoriello. The Hurricanes eliminated the Islanders (38-27-16) in the first round in six games last season.

“It feels great,” Cal Clutterbuck said. “It was a roller-coaster type of season. We’ve been through a lot together. I think we always knew we could do it. These last 10 games were as do-or-die as they get. It feels like we played 10 Game 7s.”

“This is a good team,” said Semyon Varlamov, who made 23 saves as he started for the eighth time in 12 games and likely will be the Game 1 starter. “We went through ups and downs this year. It wasn’t easy for us to make it but we always believed in each other. We got the job done. It just took a little longer.”

Actually, the Islanders did not clinch a playoff berth last season until Game 82. This season it took them one fewer game.

The clinching came before a split crowd, with the Islanders’ contingent chanting “We want playoffs!” in the third period.

There was a mixed combination of relief and elation as the final buzzer sounded and the Islanders earned their playoff ticket.

“It’s been a bit of an up-and-down,” said Brock Nelson, who regained a two-goal lead for the Islanders at 11:48 of the second period after Timo Meier’s rebound goal brought the Devils within 2-1 at 3:25 of the second period. “The last few weeks we found ourselves in the spot where we can put it in our own hands. We strung together a nice few weeks to get ourselves in and give ourselves a chance.”

Clinching a playoff spot, of course, is just the first checkmark on the Islanders’ to-do list. The ultimate goal is the franchise’s first Stanley Cup since 1983.

“From my past experience, everything is possible,” said Roy, a Hall of Fame goalie who won two Cups with the Canadiens and two more with the Avalanche. “Nobody gave us a chance in Montreal in ’86 or ’93. We just played one game at a time and we didn’t look at more than that.”

The Islanders’ first shot didn’t come until 12:22 of the first period, but they took a 1-0 lead on it as Pierre Engvall fed Jean-Gabriel Pageau on a two-on-one rush. The Islanders then broke an 0-for-12 drought on the power play as Kyle Palmieri, at the crease, deflected defenseman Mike Reilly’s shot from the blue line to make it 2-0 at 16:52 of the first period.

Rookie Kyle MacLean, who grew up watching his father, Islanders assistant coach John MacLean, play for the Devils, ended any suspense with a close-range shot to make it 4-1 at 6:17 of the third period.

“Pretty cool,” said Kyle MacLean, who also hit the right post on a breakaway chance early in the second period. “I watched a lot of games in this building growing up, spent a lot of time here.”

The Devils (38-39-5), who got 15 saves from Jake Allen, ended their disappointing season seventh in the division.

Notes & quotes: Noah Dobson (upper body/day-to-day) missed his second straight game . . . Mathew Barzal played in his 500th NHL game . . . The Islanders avoided having the Devils sweep the four-game season series . . . The Islanders went 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.

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