DET 03.25.24_GAMEDAY_WEB (1)

WASHINGTON -- Another pivotal game with Eastern Conference Playoffs implications is on deck for the Detroit Red Wings, who will face the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Tuesday night.

Ahead of Tuesday’s 7 p.m. puck drop (broadcast coverage on Bally Sports Detroit and 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit), the Red Wings (36-29-6; 78 points) trail the Capitals (35-26-9; 79 points), who have one game in hand, by one point in the competitive race for the East’s second wild-card spot.

“A big game,” J.T. Compher said. “We all know obviously what’s at stake. I feel like we’ve been building the last few games towards playoff hockey and playing the right way. It’s a good opportunity.”

Despite a tough ending in Saturday’s 1-0 shutout loss to the Nashville Predators, head coach Derek Lalonde said the Red Wings played a strong team game to open their season-long five-game road trip.

“We’ll take that game every single time, just gave them a handful of chances,” Lalonde said. “Obviously you limit that team to one goal against. We didn’t turn the puck over, one of our better game-management games. We didn’t give them any odd-mans.”

Detroit netminder Alex Lyon, who made his first start in goal in six days, stopped 31 of 32 shots on Saturday. Lalonde said Lyon will again start in net in the nation’s capital on Tuesday.

“We’ve had some very competitive goaltending in this recent stretch,” Lalonde said. “Had some success, probably a little bit to do with our improved team game. But that might be one of our better goalie performances in a long time, what (Lyon) gave us in Nashville on Saturday.”

Jeff Petry (illness) did not practice Monday and Lalonde said the defenseman will be reevaluated on Tuesday. Jake Walman skated Monday for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury on March 17, but he’s unlikely to be in the Red Wings’ lineup on Tuesday.

Currently fourth in the Metropolitan Division, Washington has won five of its last six games after blanking the Winnipeg Jets, 3-0, on Sunday. Alex Ovechkin (26-32—58) has been a key part of the Capitals’ recent success, scoring eight goals during a five-game goal streak.

“He just has an uncanny instinct and hockey sense where it just finds him,” Lalonde said about the 38-year-old Ovechkin. “He’s the type of player where he’s going to get his looks. You just hope that you limit it and find a way of not letting him beat you.”

Dylan Strome (23 goals, 35 assists) is tied with Ovechkin for the team lead in scoring with 58 points this season, while John Carlson (seven goals, 36 assists) and Tom Wilson (17 goals, 15 assists) have combined for 75 points. Washington goaltender Charlie Lindgren has five shutouts this season -- tied for third-most in the NHL -- along with a 20-12-5 record, 2.67 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in 39 appearances.

The Red Wings opened the season series against the Capitals with an 8-3 victory at Little Caesars Arena on Feb. 27.

“It’s a confident group,” Lalonde said about Washington. “We talked about all these teams grouped on that (playoff) line, it’s the teams that just win. It’s as simple as that. We won three of four (games), we got ourselves back around that line. They just keep winning, hence them being over that line right now.”