Unable to do much offensively, and again giving up a costly third-period goal, the Red Wings lost 1-0 Friday to the Washington Capitals.
Washington's Jay Beagle scored at 14 minutes, 49 seconds of the third period, giving the Capitals the hard-earned victory.
The loss was the third straight for the Red Wings (8-9-1), who have won only twice in their last 10 games (2-7-1).
Washington (11-4-2) has won eight of its last 10.
Beagle scored on a scramble in front of goalie Jimmy Howard, putting back a rebound of Dmitry Orlov's shot from the point past Howard.
Beagle spun from a screen he was providing and jumped on the loose puck to the side, after Howard steered away the rebound.
Howard was pulled for an extra skater with 1:40 left in the game but Holtby made a great stop on Henrik Zetterberg, who was then called on a tripping penalty.
The Capitals played shorthanded from midway in the first period, as they lost forwards T.J. Oshie, Lars Eller and Andre Burakovsky to injuries.
That forced the Capitals to go with three lines — nine healthy forwards — and put them into a safer, defensive game.
It worked against a Red Wings team that failed to capitalize on its power plays and didn't make life difficult enough for goalie Braden Holtby (25 saves, 24th career shutout).
Holtby was sharp during two Red Wings power plays in the second period, turning away several decent scoring chances and keeping the game scoreless.
The Red Wings' four power plays through two periods and failed to convert, unable to score against one of the better penalty-killing teams in the NHL.
Washington was outshot 12-7 by the Red Wings in the second period, but Holtby was calm and confident in the net, frustrating the Red Wings.
The first period saw the Red Wings outshot 11-5 in but Howard's goaltending kept the game scoreless.
The Red Wings' penalty kill kept Washington off the scoreboard during a five-minute power play (Danny DeKeyser for boarding former Plymouth Whaler Tom Wilson).
Howard had two big stops during the power play, stopping Alex Ovechkin on a one-timer from the circle and squeezing a shot from Andre Burakovsky on a drive through the slot.
The Red Wings' best chance in the period was Tomas Tatar's 2-on-1 rush with Henrik Zetterberg, but Holtby held firm as Tatar drove to the net, keeping the game scoreless.
The Capitals lost Oshie early in the game after he collided with Riley Sheahan near the blue line.
Oshie staggered to his skates and went to the bench, where he appeared to be favoring his left arm.
Eller was lost after a collision with Tyler Bertuzzi along the boards.
With 10 victories already for the season, Washington looks capable of duplicating its Presidents Trophy (best record) season of a year ago.
"They're a deep team, they have talent all the way through their lineup," Howard said before the game.
The Capitals have strengthened their depth the last couple seasons with shrewd free-agent acquisitions and keen drafting and it's worked to make this one of the elite teams in the league.
"They've built for the last few years to win the Stanley Cup," forward Steve Ott said. "Last season they didn't get the job done (in the playoffs) but they ran away from the league in the regular season. What Ovi (Ovechkin) brings on that power play is pretty special but there's a lot of guys who are threats.
"You go down that list, there's a lot of guys who are high-end guys, a lot of World Cup and Olympic guys on that team. You have to make sure your game is the best and playing great hockey."