Foote, Smyth help Avalanche bury Capitals

WASHINGTON (Ticker) — Defenseman Adam Foote’s first goal of the
season provided the Colorado Avalanche with a nice boost.

Foote netted the game-winner and added an assist as the
Avalanche skated to a 4-1 triumph over the Washington Capitals
on Friday.

Ryan Smyth scored a goal and set up two others for Colorado,
which has won three straight contests following a four-game
losing streak.

“It was fun to watch,” Avalanche coach Tony Granoto said. “I
think in the past week or so, I think we’ve played pretty
consistent in this fashion. We’ve been playing hard. A couple
of the games we’ve been rewarded.”

Tyler Arnason and Wojtek Wolski also tallied while Andrew
Raycroft made 28 saves for the Avalanche, who entered this
contest with the worst record in the Western Conference but
moved into a tie with the St. Louis Blues and Phoenix Coyotes at
67 points.

“We did a great job,” Raycroft said. “I think we took two
penalties all night, both with 30 seconds left on our own. When
you don’t let them have five or six power plays, it makes a big
difference to limit their chances.”

“We needed to start off this trip with a sense of urgency,”
Smyth added. “We got behind the 8-ball with where we’re at in
the standings right now, so we’ve got to find ways to keep

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Former Avalanche goaltender Jose Theodore stopped 21 shots and
Nicklas Backstrom had the lone goal for the Capitals, who saw
their three-game winning streak snapped.

Foote ended a 105-game goal drought to give Colorado a 2-1 edge
at 7:46 of the second period.

The 37-year-old blue-liner took a pass from Milan Hejduk, drove
to the net and deked Theodore for his first goal since October
6, 2007, when he was a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“We were pretty much focusing on getting it back together,”
Foote said. “Our team did a nice job of not letting a lot of
odd-man rushes. The was the key to tonight’s game. We didn’t
have an open game with them.”

Despite getting just five shots in the final session, the
Avalanche received goals from Arnason and Wolski in the period
to seal the win.

Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau did not mince words when talking
about his team’s performance.

“I think 20 guys weren’t very good,” he said. “You want to put
a spin on it that way go ahead. We just didn’t have it. We had
nothing. We looked horrible out there. I can’t read into their
minds. Everybody had their bad game at the same time.”