WASHINGTON (AP) – Paul Stastny had a goal and two assists, Craig Anderson had 40 saves, and the Colorado Avalanche beat Washington 3-2 on Saturday night to conclude a miserable homestand for the struggling Capitals.
It was the fifth straight loss for Washington, its longest skid since a five-game slide in November 2007. After losing in Dallas on Dec. 2, the Capitals dropped four successive home games by a combined score of 14-7.
Washington began its longest homestand of the season with a 12-1-1 record at Verizon Center. The Capitals are 4-8 overall since Nov. 17.
Rookie Kevin Shattenkirk contributed a goal and an assist, and Ryan Wilson got his first goal of the season to help the Avalanche earn their third win in nine games.
Colorado led 2-1 when Washington’s Alexander Semin, the team leader in goals, received a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct for cross-checking John-Michael Liles at 6:07 of the second period. At 9:53, Shattenkirk sent a pass across the crease to Stastny, who easily scored from the left side for a two-goal cushion.
Matt Hendricks got the Capitals to 3-2 with a power-play goal at 4:30 of the third period. Hendricks, who played 60 games with Colorado the past two seasons, scored on a shot from the slot between his legs and with his back to the net.
After going 0 for 8 on the power play Thursday night in a loss to Florida, Washington went 1 for 3 against Colorado. But the Capitals are 13-2-2 when scoring a power-play goal.
The Avalanche took only five shots in the third period, but effectively tended to business in the defensive end.
Colorado went up 1-0 at 2:14 of the first when Stastny won a draw to the left of goalie Michal Neuvirth and got the puck to Shattenkirk, who skated toward the net and squeezed a shot through his pads.
Midway through the period, Alex Ovechkin worked the puck into the Colorado zone and around defenseman Ryan O’Byrne before tapping a backhander toward the net. Anderson blocked the shot, but Mike Knuble tapped in the high rebound for his 250th career goal.
Wilson made it 2-1 at 18:39 of the first period by working his way open on the left side and converting a cross-ice pass from Stastny.
Notes: Capitals D Mike Green was scratched with the flu. … Colorado RW Milan Hejduk missed his first game this season after hurting his groin in Friday’s win over Atlanta. … Avalanche D Kyle Quincey left with an injured shoulder. … Tomas Fleischmann of Colorado and Scott Hannan of the Capitals faced their former teammates for the first time since being traded for each other 11 days earlier.
By DAVID GINSBURG – AP Sports Writer
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