Alex Ovechkin netted two of Washington's three first-period goals and the Capitals continued their playoff push while furthering Detroit's slide with a 5-3 win at Joe Louis Arena.
Mike Knuble and Jason Chimera registered a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who snapped a two-game losing streak and won for the fifth time in seven games.
With the win, Washington remained two points ahead of Buffalo for eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Capitals also closed to within three points of first-place Florida in the Southeast Division.
Braden Holtby made 30 saves in his second start of the season with Washington.
Kyle Quincey, Todd Bertuzzi and Danny Cleary lit the lamp for Detroit, which returned home following an 0-3-1 road trip. The Red Wings have dropped seven of eight overall and remained tied with Nashville for fourth in the West.
Jimmy Howard stopped 17 shots.
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