TAMPA, Fla. – Matt Duchene credits his recent success to good karma.
Duchene had two goals and Craig Anderson made 33 saves to lead the Colorado Avalanche past the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-0 on Monday night.
“Some luck may be coming back my way,” the rookie centre said. “I’ve been playing better, too.”
Duchene put Colorado up 1-0 at 8:16 of the first. His power-play goal from in-close made it 2-0 with 6:22 left in the second.
“An 18-year old that went to the net and got two goals,” Tampa Bay coach Rick Tocchet said.
Duchene, taken third in this year’s entry draft, has four goals and seven points over his last seven games. He has six goals and 14 points overall.
“At the beginning of the season I had a ton of opportunities and I don’t think I was used to shooting on NHL goalies,” Duchene said.
Anderson stopped a good scoring chance by Steven Stamkos 24 seconds into the game en route to his third shutout this season and 10th overall. He has opened the season by starting 26 of Colorado’s 28 games.
“I just saw the puck really well and just found ways to stay in control,” Anderson said. “Playing my game, not trying to do too much.”
Tampa Bay goalie Antero Niittymaki had 26 saves. The Lightning dropped to 6-2-4 at home.
“Tonight was definitely not good enough,” Tampa Bay right wing Martin St. Louis said. “They were more hungry for these two points than we were, especially early on.”
Wojtek Wolski added an empty-net goal at 19:46 of the third for Colorado.
Chris Stewart assisted on both of Duchene’s goals. The Avalanche are 6-0-0 against the Eastern Conference this season.
The Lightning had 16 shots in the third, including one late in the period by Stephane Veilleux that Anderson make a diving glove save on.
“I thought our defence did a great job,” Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said. “When Andy was tested, he made the big save for us.”
Colorado defenceman Adam Foote left with 4:06 left in the second after it appeared he was hit in the leg by a shot. He returned in the third.
Notes: Colorado RW Milan Hejduk missed his second straight game due to a knee injury and is listed as day-to-day. … Lightning D Mattias Ohlund returned after sitting out the previous seven games with an ankle injury. … Avalanche LW T.J. Galiardi (back) was in the lineup after missing one game. … Tampa Bay reassigned D Mike Lundin to Norfolk and recalled D Matt Smaby from the AHL team from a conditioning assignment.