DENVER — Following a successful three-game road trip to open the season, the Avalanche made easy work of the Chicago Blackhawks in their 2023-24 home opener. Colorado shut out the Blackhawks 4-0, improving to 4-0-0 on the season.

Logan O’Connor, Ryan Johansen, Devon Toews and Nathan MacKinnon each found the back of the net. And in goal, Alexandar Georgiev made 18 saves, improving to 4-0-0 after earning his first shutout of the season and sixth in an Avalanche uniform.

“We’re still fine-tuning our game, no question,” head coach Jared Bednar said following Colorado’s third straight home-opening victory. “All the guys are getting to know one another. They like one another. They’re all good teammates and that goes a long way for our culture.

“Everyone kind of understands the high expectations.”

The visiting Blackhawks, led by 2023 No. 1 overall draft pick Connor Bedard, were on the final leg of a season-opening five-game road trip. Bedard has faced off against No. 1 overall picks Sidney Crosby (2005), Juraj Slavkovsky (2022), Auston Matthews (2016) and MacKinnon (2013) during this stretch.

His first match-up against MacKinnon didn’t go his way. Though Bedard felt there was a lot he could learn from the Avs’ top forward.

“I’d love to skate like him but he’s one of the few people in the game that could move like that,” Bedard said of MacKinnon, who he spent time skating with over the offseason.

Colorado got on the board at 11:46 thanks to a shorthanded tally from O’Connor. The forward scored while the Avs were a man short for the second game in a row, becoming the first Av to accomplish the feat in consecutive games since captain Gabriel Landeskog did it in 2013. The Avalanche successfully killed off the remainder of the penalty, a delay of game called against Bowen Byram, and did not let in a power-play goal the rest of the way.

They remained perfect on the PK, improving to 17-for-17 on the season. Colorado has outscored the opposition 2-0 while down a man thanks to O’Connor’s early season aggressive shorthanded play.

“We’re playing the structure well. We didn’t give them much, if any, today,” Georgiev said of the PK unit. “I saw a really great effort, and I hope we keep building on that.”

Several minutes later, Colorado got its first power-play opportunity. And thanks to a rebound goal in the blue paint from center Ryan Johansen, was able to build on its lead before the intermission. Johansen’s tally was his first with the Avs.

It was also his first goal since February because of a late season-ending injury to end his tenure in Nashville.

“On top of winning, it feels great to contribute, especially on the power play,” Johansen said.

Colorado continued to build on its lead in the second period. Miles Wood thought he had his second of the season but the goal was overturned after a successful offside challenge from the Blackhawks coaching staff. But moments later, Toews scored to increase the lead to three.

Toews had a wide-open net to shoot at behind goalie Petr Mrazek thanks to a no-look pass from Valeri Nichushkin. Mrazek was busy all night as Colorado outshot the visitors 41-18.

Early in the second period, head coach Jared Bednar switched up two of his lines, swapping Jonathan Drouin with Tomas Tatar. In the third period, Tatar connected with his new linemate MacKinnon to set up the fourth goal. Tatar played the rest of the game on the new top line with MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen and did an admirable job. Both wingers had two assists.

“I just try to battle for them. Get the puck and make a play for them,” Tatar said. “Help them out to create more offense. It’s not an easy task, but once you get that opportunity you’re enjoying it.”

Georgiev, who has started each of the Avalanche’s four games, leads the NHL in wins and save percentage (.965). He has allowed just four goals on 113 shots to begin the season.

“I still haven’t been able to score on him (in practice),” Johansen said of his netminder. “I’m happy for him. I feel like he’s proving to the hockey world right now what he’s about, and I couldn’t be more proud of him and just how he works.”