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NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Washington

(Friday, February 20th)

Final Score: Colorado 4, Washington 1

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Ryan Smyth had a goal and two assists as the Colorado Avalanche picked up a surprising 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center.

Adam Foote had a goal and an assist while Wojtek Wolski and Tyler Arnason each lit the lamp for the Avalanche, who have won three straight. Andrew Raycroft made 28 saves in the win.

"We did a great job," said Raycroft. "We took two penalties I think all night and they were both with 30 seconds left on our own. When you don't let them have five or six power plays it does a lot to limit their chances."

Despite being in 14th place in the Western Conference with 57 points, Colorado is just five points out of the final playoff spot.

Nicklas Backstrom scored the lone goal while Jose Theodore was tagged for four goals on 25 shots in the loss for the Capitals, who were riding a three-game winning streak.

"We really couldn't get in their zone," said Theodore. "Especially in the first two periods, we didn't get a lot."

The Avs struck first as Smyth used a wraparound from the right side that he was able to stuff past Theodore on the third try at the 10:27 mark of the first.

Washington, though, tied the game with 15 seconds left in the first on a 3- on-2 rush as Tomas Fleischmann fired a pass from the right boards to the slot for Backstrom, who slid over to the left and wristed the puck home.

Colorado regained the lead at the 7:46 mark of the second period. Milan Hejduk took a pass at the right circle and skated around the net. From the left side he slid the disc to Foote, whose one-timer from the left circle went into the right corner of the net for his first goal of the season.

Raycroft stopped all eight shots he faced in the second period to preserve the lead.

The Avalanche solidified their lead at the 3:33 mark of the third. Washington turned the puck over along the right boards in its own end and Marek Svatos picked up the puck. He slid it over to Arnason, who snapped a quick shot over the glove of Theodore for a 3-1 advantage.

Colorado made it a 4-1 game with 7:24 left in the game. On a 2-on-1 rush, Smyth skated down the left side and passed the puck to the right. It deflected off the stick of a Washington defender, but Wolski was able to grab the puck and chip it past Theodore for his 13th goal of the season.

Game Notes

The Avs continue their season-high six-game road trip in Carolina on Sunday...Washington hosts Pittsburgh on Sunday...Washington superstar Alex Ovechkin had a 10-game point streak snapped. He had 11 goals and five assists during that run...Washington had won the previous two games against the Avs...Colorado went 0-for-4 on the power play while Washington failed to score on either of its two chances.

02/20 23:09:45 ET

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