New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey sets before a...

New York Islanders right wing Josh Bailey sets before a face off against the Detroit Red Wings  at UBS Arena on Thursday, March 24, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Islanders can still impact the playoff race even if they are almost certainly not going to qualify for the postseason.

They open a home-and-home series against the playoff-bound Penguins on Tuesday night at UBS Arena. Nine of the Islanders’ last 11 games through their season finale on April 29 against the Lightning feature Eastern Conference teams headed to the postseason and vying for playoff positioning.

For instance, the Penguins are simultaneously trying to climb into second place in the Metropolitan Division and gain home-ice advantage for their first-round playoff series while also trying to avoid falling into a wild-card spot and having to face either the Metropolitan or Atlantic Division champ.

The Islanders haven’t been eliminated from playoff contention — yet. But they are 15 points behind the Capitals for the Eastern Conference’s final wild-card spot.

“You always want to be playing well, no matter what the circumstances or the situation,” Josh Bailey said after Monday’s practice at Northwell Health Ice Center in East Meadow, very likely the Islanders’ last practice of the season — not including morning skates — given the compacted schedule.

“That’s certainly the case down the stretch,” Bailey said. “We’re all driven to go out and play our best every night. That’s our job. I think we’re all committed to doing that.”

The Islanders concluded a 3-2 road trip with Saturday night’s 6-1 loss to the playoff-bound Blues. But the trip also included impressive wins over the Rangers and Hurricanes, who face each other on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden with the Rangers trailing the first-place Hurricanes by two points.

The Islanders have one game remaining against each of those teams, both at UBS Arena. They also have a home-and-home series with the Capitals in the final week of the season with a chance to affect the Capitals’ playoff positioning.

The Islanders are only 8-23-2 against teams holding playoff spots but they are still 12-5-1 since March 10. They’ve gone 4-4-1 against teams in playoff position during those 18 games, including two wins over the Rangers.

“I think if you look back to the past couple of months, we’ve been more ourselves in the structure and doing things the right way and it’s led to some success,” defenseman Ryan Pulock said. “We’ve got some tough matchups coming up and we’ve been playing some good teams. That team in Carolina is one of the best teams in the league and we just played our game.

“That’s how we’ve had success in the past, is just doing what we do best, playing our structure, playing our game and just working. We’ve just got to continue that and keep building on that to help us move forward throughout this year and into next year.”

Notes & quotes: Casey Cizikas is eligible to return after serving a one-game suspension for boarding Hurricanes defenseman Brendan Smith in Friday’s 2-1 win in Carolina. He needs one point to reach 200 in his career . . . The Islanders’ penalty kill is 21-for-21 over the last seven games.

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