Red Wings, Capitals duel with eye on a wild-card spot

For the first time in several weeks, the Detroit Red Wings find themselves on the outside looking in for an Eastern Conference playoff berth.The red-hot Washington Capitals have passed them in pursuit of the second wild-card spot. Those two teams now look to settle their differences at Washington D.C., in a pivotal contest on Tuesday.Detroit (36-29-6, 78 points) is 3-9 since Feb. 29, falling one point behind Washington (35-26-9, 79 points). The Capitals, who also have a game in hand on the Red Wings, have won five of their past six games.The Red Wings absorbed a 1-0 road loss to the Nashville Predators on Saturday to kick off a five-game road trip. Filip Forsberg scored the lone goal with 5:14 remaining in regulation.Detroit, which hasn’t qualified for the playoffs in the previous seven seasons, now finds itself in a near must-win situation on Tuesday.”I think it feels special, but it also feels real,” Red Wings defenseman Moritz Seider said. “We earned it to be in this position. We just have to put nerves or excitement by the side and grind.”Every game is a playoff game for us and hopefully we can build momentum and be ready for something we’ve all been waiting for. It’s a lot more fun playing intense games now and hopefully be part of a cool experience here.”Seider engaged in his first NHL fight against the Predators, squaring off against Forsberg.”Just battling for the puck and got crosschecked and we got the best of our emotions,” Seider said. “It was pretty enjoyable for everyone. It’s a lot of emotion in that game.”What the Red Wings couldn’t do was snap the Predators’ franchise-record 17-game point streak.”You want to win every game but what you’re looking for is playing the game the right way,” Red Wings goaltender Alex Lyon said. “Bring your best and have a good effort and it felt like we had that.”The Capitals are coming off a 3-0 home victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday. Charlie Lindgren made 27 saves to record his fifth shutout this season.