- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 12, 2017

John Carlson scored a tiebreaking goal in the second period, and the Washington Capitals beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 on Tuesday night for their eighth win in 10 games.

Carlson was whistled for a penalty at the end of the first period and another in the second but he gave Washington a 2-1 lead with a slap shot with 2:18 left.

Brett Connolly, Matt Niskanen and Devante Smith-Pelly added third-period goals for the Capitals, and Braden Holtby had 22 saves. Evgeny Kuznetsov had three assists.

Backup goaltender Philipp Grubauer was slated to start for Washington, but he played nearly two periods in relief during Monday’s 3-1 loss at New Jersey.

Colin Wilson and Tyler Jost scored for Colorado, which had won two in a row. Semyon Varlamov made 22 stops in the finale of a four-game trip.

Connolly took a slick cross-ice pass from Madison Bowey and scored on a slap shot from the left circle 5:15 into the third. The Capitals were a man up thanks to a delayed penalty.

Niskanen made it 4-1 with his second of the season at 16:19. After Jost trimmed Washington’s lead to two, Smith-Pelly put away Colorado with his fifth of the year with 45 seconds left.

The Capitals jumped in front on its first shot 5:25 into the game. Jakuv Vrana beat Varlamov from the left circle for his ninth.

Wilson tied it 4:13 into the second period by flicking a backhander over Holtby after a quick pass from Matt Nieto behind the cage. Wilson nearly scored again later in the period but Holtby turned away his shot on a breakaway.

The Avalanche host Florida on Thursday night. The Capitals visit Boston on Thursday night.

NOTES: Coach Barry Trotz held out forward T.J. Oshie and said he also will miss Thursday’s road game against Boston due to an upper-body injury. Trotz said he is hoping Oshie can return this weekend. … The Capitals have scored first in 10 of their last 12 games. … Colorado coach Jared Bednard said forward Alex Kerfoot (foot injury) is day to day. He got hurt on Monday and was scratched for the matchup with Washington.

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