Avalanche hands Capitals 5th straight loss, 3-2

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.