Duchene, Varlamov lead Avalanche past Lightning 4-0
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Matt Duchene had two goals and an assist, Semyon Varlamov made 27 saves for his 21st career shutout and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 on Thursday night.
Andreas Martinsen and Carl Soderberg scored for the Avalanche, who are 2-1 on a four-game trip. Colorado beat Pittsburgh in overtime and lost to Washington earlier on the trip.
Duchene scored in the final minute of both the first and second periods. Varlamov made a strong save on Nikita Kucherov’s low right circle shot in the second.
Tampa Bay went 3-1 on a season-opening four-game homestand.
After Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos couldn’t control the puck at the Lightning blue line, Duchene skated in alone down the slot and opened the scoring with 24.1 seconds left in the first on a rebound after his first shot was turned aside by Ben Bishop. Duchene had been pointless in his previous five games, including three this season.
Several minutes after getting shaken up in a collision near the Tampa Bay blue line with teammate Ben Smith, Duchene returned and made it 2-0 with 51.2 seconds remaining in the second with a knee-high deflection of Patrick Wiercioch’s shot.
Duchene has seven goals and 11 points in 11 games against Tampa Bay.
Colorado took a 3-0 lead at 7:53 of the third when Bishop was caught out of position when Joe Colborne’s dump-in took a weird bounce off the glass in the left wing corner and went into the left circle, where Martinsen scored into the vacated net.
Duchene assisted on Soderberg’s goal later in the third.
NOTES: Lightning founder Phil Esposito dropped the ceremonial first puck on the 20th anniversary of the first NHL game in the building known as the Ice Palace in 1996. Tampa Bay beat the Wayne Gretzky-led New York Rangers 5-2 in that game. ... Colorado C Nathan MacKinnon had an assist and has 11 points in seven games against Tampa Bay. ... Martinsen stopped an 11-game goal drought.
Avalanche: Complete the four-game road trip Saturday against Florida.
Lightning: Start a six-game road trip Saturday at Ottawa. Former Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher is in his first season coaching the Senators.