PITTSBURGH — Admittedly not where they want to be in the standings, the Red Wings still have plenty of fight left.
That much was evident this weekend with back-to-back wins against two of the NHL's best teams.
Tomas Tatar and Thomas Vanek scored early third-period goals to lead Detroit to a 5-2 win over the Penguins on Sunday.
"We're not giving up," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "There are a lot of points and a lot of games still to play for. We know we have to win games. We got two points here now, and we have to prepare for the next one."
Nick Jensen and Steve Ott also scored, and Luke Glendening added a late empty-netter for the Red Wings, who completed a back-to-back sweep of Washington and Pittsburgh, two of the top teams in the league. Petr Mrazek made 24 saves for his second win in as many days; he had lost his previous four games.
Detroit defeated Washington in a shootout at home Saturday and followed with the win at Pittsburgh, the NHL's best home team. It was the Red Wings' second victory against the Penguins this season.
Detroit, which lost five straight before the weekend victories, remained near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings but within striking distance of the second wild card playoff spot.
"When we're playing good, we're playing good," Zetterberg said. "We just have to have the consistency to stay at this level."
Sidney Crosby scored his league-leading 32nd goal and Tom Kuhnhackl added his third with the Penguins short-handed. The Penguins lost in regulation for the first time since the All-Star break. Matt Murray stopped 19 shots.
Pittsburgh, which could have equaled a season-high 10-game points streak, had points in 13 of its previous 15 contests. But it missed a chance to move three points behind the Capitals for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division.
GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Mats Zuccarello scored a third-period goal and Henrik Lundqvist made 31 saves in the Rangers' 2-1 victory over the Capitals. Ryan McDonagh scored in the first period for New York, which has won seven of eight overall and five in a row at home. Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal for Washington. … Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist to lead the visiting Blackhawks to a 5-1 win over the Sabres. … Josh Morrissey scored early in the third period to give Winnipeg a two-goal lead, and the visiting Jets held off the Senators 3-2. … Mattias Ekholm scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, Juuse Saros stopped 35 shots and the visiting Predators beat the Blue Jackets 4-3. … Ryan Strome had two goals and an assist to lead the host Islanders to a 6-4 victory over the Devils. … Connor Brown scored twice, Auston Matthews had a highlight-reel goal on a backhander as he was twirling to the ice and the visiting Maple Leafs beat the Hurricanes 4-0.