The Penguins didn't just win a game Wednesday night.

They made a little history.

Their 4-3 victory against Washington at Consol Energy Center was their 13th consecutive victory on home ice, a franchise record.

The Penguins (34-12-2) remain runaway leaders in the Metropolitan Division, with an 18-point cushion over the Capitals and Philadelphia, who are tied for second.

The victory was the Penguins' sixth in a row against the Capitals and stretched their home-ice winning streak against Washington to four.

Rookie defenseman Olli Maatta got the winner at 18:06 of the third period as he broke a 3-3 tie with a wrist shot from the top of the left circle for his fourth goal.

The goal was set up by Evgeni Malkin and made possible by a excellent screen set in front of Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth by Taylor Pyatt, who had scored earlier in the game.

Brandon Sutter, who usually centers the third line, was bumped up to the right side on the No. 1 line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz.

It was, Sutter said, his first work on the wing since a two-month stint there when he was playing major-junior hockey.

"That's seven, eight years ago now," he said. "So it's been a while."

Which doesn't mean Sutter was unable to recognize the potential benefits of filling in there.

"I don't think too many people would be complaining about it," he said. "I'm actually looking forward to the opportunity. I don't know what the plan is moving forward when we start getting some guys back, but, for now, I'm going to go there and have some fun."

The Penguins' personnel problems, an issue for most of the season, were compounded when second-line right winger James Neal was scratched because of an unspecified injury.

With the likes of Neal, Joe Vitale and Brian Gibbons, among others, unavailable because of injuries, forwards Nick Drazenovic and Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond made their Penguins debuts.

They are the 35th and 36th players to pull on a Penguins sweater this season.

Both were recalled from the Penguins' American Hockey League affiliate in Wilkes-Barre after the team returned from a three-game swing through Western Canada.