Avalanche 2, Capitals 1

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 18, 2011
Cody McLeod and Erik Johnson both scored their first goals of the season, and Jean-Sebastian Giguere had 25 saves as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Washington Capitals 2-1 on Saturday night for their fifth straight home victory. Washington's Alexander Semin forged a 1-1 tie with a shot from the center of the right circle that sailed into the net over Giguere's left shoulder at 13:09 of the second period. Just 54 seconds later, Johnson put Colorado back on top with a slap shot from the right point that zoomed past goalie Michal Neuvirth, going inside the left post for the decisive score in the teams' only meeting of the season. With less than a minute to go, the Capitals pulled Neuvirth for an extra attacker and were on the power play for the final 13 seconds, but Giguere turned away both of their shots. McLeod gave Colorado a 1-0 lead just 2:49 in when his shot from near the blue line found its way past Neuvirth, just inside the right post. Alex Ovechkin, who had the game's only goal in the Capitals' victory over Winnipeg on Thursday night, hasn't scored in consecutive games this season. NOTES: Colorado RW Brandon Yip missed a third straight game because of a groin strain. He was placed in the injured list earlier this week. Evan Brophey was recalled from Lake Erie of the AHL to fill his roster spot. ... McLeod hadn't scored a goal since March 17 at Calgary, a span of 37 games. ... Washington C Mathieu Perreault left after the first period because of an illness and didn't return. ... Capitals RW Mike Knuble is one game shy of 1,000 in the NHL. ... Washington has scored at least one goal in all 31 games this season, its longest stretch since a 31-game run to begin the 2009-10 season.
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