The Capitals were in need of just one point Tuesday to reach the playoffs, but picked up a second point in overtime as Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winning goal 1:38 into the extra frame.
"I think our line today had plenty of chance to score," Ovechkin told reporters post-game, after finishing his night with seven shots. "Its nice to get a goal, especially in overtime."
The victory also allowed goaltender Braden Holtby to record his 42nd win of the year, setting a Capitals record for wins in a single season. The 26-year-old stopped 24 of 25 shots on the night.
Justin Williams scored the other goal for the Capitals, netting his 21st of the season against his former team.
Jordan Staal recorded the lone goal for the Hurricanes.