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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

climbing."

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."

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