Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Duchene potted a pair of goals and added an assist, as the Colorado Avalanche continued their best start to a season in franchise history with a 4-2 decision over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday at Pepsi Center.
Alex Tanguay tallied a goal and an assist, while Erik Johnson also lit the lamp for the Avalanche, who have won nine of their first 10 games to match their best start in franchise history set by the Quebec Nordiques during the 1994-95 campaign.
"It's good right now," Tanguay said. "We played another solid game. We made a few mistakes, but we overcame them. It's a lot of fun now."
Semyon Varlamov stopped 28-of-30 shots to backstop the victory.
Andrej Sekera notched a goal and an assist, while Drayson Bowman scored the other goal for the Hurricanes, who have lost two straight and five of their last seven games.
Justin Peters allowed all four goals on 34 shots in defeat.
"I was excited about the opportunity to play tonight," Peters said. "I felt comfortable, but they are a very fast team."
Colorado opened the scoring at the 11:30 mark of the first period when an odd- man rush from the Avalanche left a rebound in the crease that a trailing Johnson knocked in with his skate to make it 1-0 Colorado.
Duchene doubled the lead with 2:27 left in the frame when he picked up a rebound behind the Carolina net and made a nifty spin move to create some room before stuffing a quick shot through the pads of Peters from the low right side for a 2-0 lead.
Carolina cut into the margin just 12 seconds into the second, as the Hurricanes won the opening faceoff before Sekera found Jordan Staal with a nice stretch pass from his own blue line.
Staal then made his way into the left circle before sliding the disc to his right to set up Bowman's one-timer that made it 2-1 early in the second.
Colorado regained its two-goal cushion just past the midpoint of the frame when Duchene carried the disc into the Carolina zone and skated into the right circle before turning his back toward the end boards and firing a pass into the slot for a cutting Tanguay, who re-directed the puck through the pads of Peters from between the circles for a 3-1 lead at 10:11.
The Avs extended the margin on the power play less than a minute into the third thanks to a hooking minor against Justin Faulk at 18:45 of the second.
With Colorado skating on the man-advantage less than a minute into the third, Duchene held off a defender and made his way into the right circle before beating Peters high to the short-side to make it 4-1 just 36 seconds into the final frame.
Carolina countered just over two minutes later when Sekera took a nice backdoor feed from Jiri Tlusty and buried the disc into the back of the net from the low left side to bring the Hurricanes within 4-2 at 2:40.
Varlamov made the lead stand from there, turning away 15 shots over the final 20 minutes to keep Colorado in front.
Colorado has won nine straight home games against Carolina and is 9-0-2 (nine wins, two ties) in its last 11 home games against the 'Canes. The last time Carolina won a game in Denver they were the Hartford Whalers on Feb. 9, 1996 at McNichols Sports Arena ... Carolina placed starting goaltender Cam Ward on injured reserve Friday. Ward is expected to miss 3-to-4 weeks with a lower- body injury ... Duchene has notched at least two points in four of his last seven games ... Johnson has two goals this year after scoring zero last season ... Colorado killed off all three Carolina penalties to improve to 31-for-34 on the penalty kill, good for the best mark in the NHL.