Holtby, Capitals edge Red Wings

Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Braden Holtby made 35 saves and the Washington Capitals beat the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 on Sunday.

Holtby, making a franchise-record 23rd straight start, earned his 40th win of the season and 100th of his career.

Evgeny Kuznetsov and Mike Green scored for the Capitals, who have won four of five and leapfrogged the New York Islanders for second place in the Metropolitan Division. Washington clinched a playoff spot when Ottawa lost in a shootout at Toronto later Sunday.

Darren Helm scored for the Red Wings and Petr Mrazek stopped 26 shots.

"I didn't think we were great early, about (the first) 10 minutes, but I thought we played hard. I don't think you can complain about the effort," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock.

Detroit has dropped six of eight and is tied with Boston for the Atlantic Division's final automatic playoff spot. The Red Wings and Bruins are two points ahead of the Senators.

The Red Wings pulled Mrazek with two minutes remaining and had relentless pressure, but the majority of their shots were blocked or deflected wide by Capitals players.

"The commitment level we showed in that third period is what is going to win you playoff games," Holtby said.

Kuznetsov scored late in a power play to give Washington a 1-0 lead. After wheeling around with the puck at the point, Kuznetsov skated into the right circle and beat Mrazek on a shot that changed direction at 3:38 of the first period. Kuznetsov's shot was deflected by Detroit's Drew Miller and fluttered past the glove of Mrazek.

Green put the Capitals up 2-0 on a slap shot from above the right circle at 4:42 of the second period. Mrazek was only able to get a piece of the shot with his glove.

Detroit cut its deficit in half on a power play with 7:01 remaining in the second. Pavel Datsyuk sent a pass from the right circle to Helm, who scored on a tap-in from the doorstep.

The Red Wings had a prime chance to tie it late in the second, as the team skated 5-on-3 for 1:31. They failed to capitalize on the two-man advantage, and soon after the Capitals got one player back, Tomas Tatar hit the post with a backhand shot.

Game Notes

Holtby broke the record held by Wayne Stephenson, who started 22 consecutive games from Feb. 23-April 5, 1980 ... Holtby became the second goaltender in franchise history to earn 40 wins in a season. Olaf Kolzig won a club-record 41 games during the 1999-2000 season ... The Capitals have earned a point in 16 straight games against Atlantic Division teams (13-0-3).