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Blues 4, Capitals 3 @NHLdotcom

ST. LOUIS (AP) -Brad Boyes has a knack for scoring early at home this season.

He scored twice Saturday night, including one 45 seconds into the game, to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals on Saturday night. His quick goal marked the third time since joining the Blues late last year that Boyes scored within the first 1:14 of a home game.

"We should play all games at home if things go like that," he said. "It's about taking the energy from the crowd and carry it over to the ice. We've been doing that."

The Blues, who suffered their first shutout of the season in a loss at Columbus on Thursday, got the first break of the game just before their opening goal. The Capitals attempted to clear the puck only to have it hit off Keith Tkachuk, who gathered the loose puck in the neutral zone and pushed it ahead to Boyes at the blue line.

Boyes skated toward the Washington net before putting a shot over the right shoulder of goalie Brent Johnson, making his first return to St. Louis since being traded from the Blues to Phoenix on March 4, 2005.

"I saw the turnover and I was just trying to take off and give (Tkachuk) an option," Boyes said. "He made a great pass to me."

Boyes' second goal broke a 2-2 tie late in the second period. Ryan Johnson lead Boyes with a short pass to the blue line where Boyes collected it, took two strides into the Washington zone before blasting a slap shot past Brent Johnson with 1:19 remaining.

David Backus scored 1:11 into the third period to give the Blues a 4-2 lead.

The Capitals have now lost six of their past seven games after winning their first three contests of the season. They scored three goals in two losses and two or fewer in the others.

Washington tied the score with consecutive goals from Mike Green after falling behind 2-0. He got his first of the night, and his second of the season, about midway through the first period and just 40 seconds after Eric Brewer scored to cut the Blues' lead to 2-1.

"I had to simplify my game here tonight," said Green, who had one goal coming into the season and three all of the 2006-07 season. "I had to get back to what I do well."

Alexander Ovechkin earned the assist on Green's score, giving him at least one in each of the past four games. He got his second assist with 1:12 left on Michael Nylander's goal to cut the Blues' lead to 4-3.

Green tied the score with a shot from the left circle that Blues goalie Manny Legace, who was screened by Donald Brashear, got a glove on but couldn't stop. Legace said he didn't see either of the shots.

"The first one, I'd love to see that replay because I have no idea how that one went in," said Legace, who made 23 saves. "The second one, I kind of guessed. I'm going to have a talking to my glove, because it hit my glove and I don't know how it went in, after that."

Notes: Saturday's game marked the only game of the season between the two teams and the first time they met in St. Louis since Oct. 18, 2003. ...Washington has scored more than three goals just once this season and has had two or fewer in all but three of its 10 games. ...Blues R Dan Hinote skated in his 400th NHL game.

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