Matt Duchene entered Thursday’s contest with the Tampa Bay Lightning with zero points through the first three games of the 2016-17 season. Colorado’s top goal scorer from last season would end the night with two goals, an assist and a 4-0 victory.

Duchene put the Avalanche on the board with less than 30 seconds remaining in the first period, stealing the puck at the blue line and following his own rebound off Ben Bishop. In the second period he again lit the lamp late, redirecting a drive by Patrick Wiercioch past Bishop at the 19:08 mark. Duchene would add an assist on Colorado’s fourth goal of the night, feeding Carl Soderberg who took the puck two-thirds of the way down the ice and rocketed a shot off the iron and in.

Semyon Varlamov was outstanding in net for Colorado, stopping all 27 shots he faced and holding Tampa Bay 0-for-3 on the power play. Andreas Martinsen scored his first goal of the season.

Besides outskating one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference on their home ice, Colorado’s biggest takeaway has to be the fact that it scored its first two goals late in periods. An Achilles heel of last year’s club was its penchant for giving up those kinds of goals with time expiring in the first and second frames.

After being shut out in Washington two nights prior, head coach Jared Bednar has to be pleased with collecting four points already on a very tough series of games to open the season. Colorado defeated the defending Stanley Cup Champion Penguins in Pittsburgh on Monday.

Colorado concludes its four-game road trip on Saturday night in Miami against the Panthers with a chance to take six points on trip. Florida lost at home on Thursday to Washington to bring their record to 2-1-1.