PITTSBURGH -- The Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, both in the thick of a competitive race for the Eastern Conference’s second wild-card spot, will battle at PPG Paints Arena on Thursday night.

Entering Thursday’s 7 p.m. puck drop (broadcast coverage on Bally Sports Detroit and 97.1 The Ticket), the Red Wings (38-32-8; 84 points) and Penguins (36-30-12; 84 points) both trailed the Washington Capitals (85 points) by one point for the East’s second wild-card spot with four games remaining for each team.

“This feels like a playoff game, not only the caliber and intensity, but managing the highs and lows,” Detroit head coach Derek Lalonde said. “It’s no different in a seven-game series where you play well and find a way to lose. How do you bounce back? That will be our task (Thursday).”

On Tuesday, goalie Alex Lyon stopped 21 of 23 shots and Patrick Kane scored the lone goal for the Red Wings in a 2-1 loss to the Capitals. Despite being held scoreless until the final second of the game, Kane said he believes Detroit deserved a better fate against Washington.

“I think it’s frustrating in a different way because we played well,” Kane said about Tuesday’s game. “We just didn’t capitalize on our chances or maybe could have made it a little bit tougher on (Capitals goaltender Charlie Lindgren). I know we had a lot of shots and a lot of attempts as well, but just couldn’t find a way to get one by him.”

Kane said he is excited for the challenge of facing the Penguins, who are on a nine-game point streak. Pittsburgh is coming off a 3-2 overtime road loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.

“They’ve been playing great,” Kane said about the Penguins. “They’ve been finding ways to get points and win games. It’s been impressive because you thought they were out of the playoff picture around the trade deadline.They’ve had quite a run and (captain Sidney Crosby) is leading the charge. He’s as good as ever.”

Crosby paces Pittsburgh in goals (40), assists (46) and points (86) this season, while Evgeni Malkin’s 63 points (25 goals, 38 assists) rank second on the club. Bryan Rust (26 goals, 25 assists) and Erik Karlsson (nine goals, 42 assists) are tied for third in scoring at 51 points apiece.

Olli Maatta, who won back-to-back Stanley Cup championships with Pittsburgh in 2016 and 2017, said he is not surprised the Penguins’ veteran players are leading the club’s late-season push for a spot in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Patrick Kane | Derek Lalonde | Media Availability

“I think they’re a pro group,” Maatta said about the Penguins. “I think they want to win. They’ve done it for a long time and they still have that hunger. You know how they work day-to-day. They don’t take any games off. E very game matters for them and they want to succeed.”

Former Red Wings goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic has posted a 16-6-7 record with a 2.82 goals-against average, .907 save percentage and one shutout in 34 games between the pipes for Pittsburgh this season.

“Nedo is playing at a very high level,” Lalonde said about the Penguins netminder. “We’ve experienced it. He’s capable of some really good goaltending. He’s a great teammate and a winner.”

The Red Wings are 1-1-0 against the Penguins this season, most recently dropping a 6-3 decision at PPG Paints Arena on March 17.