DETROIT — Mike Green had a goal and an assist, and the Washington Capitals beat the Detroit Red Wings, 2-1, on Sunday, putting the Red Wings in an anxious spot as they try to extend their streak of postseason appearances.
Braden Holtby stopped 35 shots for his 100th career victory and Evgeny Kuznetsov also scored for Washington, which moved into second place in the Metropolitan Division.
Darren Helm scored for Detroit, and Petr Mrazek finished with 26 saves. The Red Wings, trying to reach the playoffs for the 24th consecutive season, remained tied with Boston for third place in the Atlantic Division — just three points ahead of Ottawa, which is ninth in the Eastern Conference.
The Senators played at Toronto later Sunday, and a loss by Ottawa would haved clinched a playoff berth for Washington.
Kuznetsov put the Capitals ahead 3:38 into the game, when, on the power play, he fired a shot that bounced off Drew Miller’s stick and past Mrazek for his 11th goal of the season.
Green made it 2-0 at 4:42 of the second period as he ripped a shot that hit the top of Mrazek’s glove before settling in the top right corner of the net for his 10th of the season.
Helm got the Red Wings on the board with his 14th of the season with 7:01 left in the second after Pavel Datsyuk found him alone at the back door.
Detroit was playing without Justin Abdelkader, who left Saturday’s game against Minnesota after being hit in the hand by the puck. In his place, the Red Wings put Daniel Cleary into the lineup.
Cleary took a high-sticking penalty 1:51 into the first period, giving the Capitals, who boast the league’s top power play, a man advantage that proved costly.
Moments after Mrazek robbed him from the bottom of the right circle, Kuznetsov rifled a shot from nearly the same spot into the back of the net.
Green’s goal may have nicked Miller, too, as the puck appeared to change directions before getting to Mrazek, who was only able to get a piece of it.
Washington lost its discipline shortly after, though, forcing Holtby to make a series of difficult saves.
While on a power play in the second, Capitals winger Joel Ward interfered with Mrazek, giving the Red Wings a power play that started 14 seconds later.
When a loose puck found its way to Datsyuk, the veteran slid it across the slot, through traffic to Helm for Detroit’s goal.
Holtby was solid the rest of the way, shutting the door on a frantic Detroit rally near the end. The Red Wings pulled Mrazek and generated all kinds of pressure in front of the Capitals’ net, but couldn’t tie it.
Returning to the lineup for the Capitals was Andre Burakovsky, who settled in as the team’s fourth-line left wing with Eric Fehr unable to play because of an unspecified injury. Burakovsky, a rookie, was an emergency recall from Hershey of the American Hockey League and had not played for the Capitals since March 13.
Detroit, meanwhile, scratched right wings Erik Cole and Tomas Jurco with unspecified upper body injuries.
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