Mike Green scored the game-winner in the second period and the Washington Capitals continued their playoff push with a 3-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.
Troy Brouwer scored Washington's other two goals, while Braden Holtby posted 43 saves for the Capitals, who are on a season-high six-game winning streak.
The win gives the Capitals 46 points on the season, and they currently sit in first place of the Southeast Division with a two -point lead over the Winnipeg Jets, who took a 7-2 win over Florida on Thursday.
"We knew the importance of this game," said Brouwer. "We came in after the second period and saw what the Winnipeg score was, and knew that we needed to continue to play well. Just the fact that we are desperate for points now, we have to keep getting them to stay where we are in the standings, and I think that a desperate team came through and we were able to capitalize on the PP and get another one."
Carolina, meanwhile, continues in its free-fall, as the team has now lost seven straight and 14 of its last 15 games and sits near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.
Jeff Skinner had the lone goal of the game for the Hurricanes, who got 28 stops from Justin Peters.
"We did a good job, guys sticking up for each other, guys fighting to the end," said Skinner. "Everyone wants to win in here. I think you can see it by that effort in the third."
Carolina got the lone goal of the first period on a 4-on-3 power play. A one- timer from the right circle by Eric Staal was stopped, but Skinner was on the doorstep to slip in the rebound at 5:01.
The Capitals tied the game at the 8:08 mark of the second period while on the power play. Mike Ribeiro fed the puck from the right of the net back to the circle, where Brouwer snapped it into the far corner.
Washington took a 2-1 lead less than three minutes later when Green took a pass from Jay Beagle in the high slot, then skated over to the right circle before wristing the puck home for his ninth of the season.
Holtby posted 13 saves in the second period and 16 in the third to preserve the lead, and Brouwer put the puck in an empty net in the final seconds to seal the victory.
Carolina hosts Boston on Saturday ... The Capitals welcome Tampa Bay on Saturday ... The Capitals took four of five games against the Hurricanes this season ... Carolina was 1-for-3 on the power play, while Washington went 1-for-4.