Center John Mitchell had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who moved past Chicago into second place in the Central Division with 100 points in what might have been a costly victory.
Centre Matt Duchene suffered a left knee injury on the opening shift Saturday when he collided with teammate Jamie McGinn near the Sharks blue line. He fell to the ice and then gingerly skated to the bench.
Mitchell moved up to centre Colorado's top line, and came through with a big power-play goal to give Colorado a 3-1 lead at 6:32 of the second period.
It is really special. I had a lot of friends and family here tonight, and for my first [NHL] game in here it was great. I played here as an elementary-school player in the city championships and this was my first time back. It was a lot of fun..
— Toronto native Brandon Pirri after scoring 2 goals for Panthers in win at Maple Leafs on Thursday