Three Avalanche goals in 2:49 doomed the Lightning in a 6-2 loss on Saturday night.
Tyson Jost led the charge for Colorado with a hat trick and Pavel Francouz stood tall in goal to snap Tampa Bay's modest two-game winning streak.
In what is becoming an ominous trend for the Lightning, Tampa Bay surrendered the first goal.
Tyson Jost broke the ice for Colorado, taking advantage of a failed Bolts clearing attempt. The Avalanche took advantage of open space left by Lightning defenders exiting the zone, with Samuel Girard finding Jost for the game-opening goal less than four minutes in. Saturday was the fourth consecutive game in which the Lightning gave up the first goal.
The Bolts responded well to the early deficit but ran into some bad luck and a few big saves from Francouz. Within the span of just a few minutes, Francouz made slid to his left to rob Ondrej Palat of a grade-A scoring chance and was bailed out when an Anthony Cirelli shot glanced off the crossbar.
Tampa Bay finally broke through with less than three minutes to play in the period. Yanni Gourde deflected home a backhand shot by Ryan McDonagh to even the score at one.
The second period, however, would go on to be the Lightning's undoing as Colorado scored three times in a 2:49 span to break the game open.
Jost scored his second goal of the game to give Colorado the lead. A J.T. Compher saucer pass over Steven Stamkos' stick landed perfectly for Jost who fired a quick shot past Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Less than two minutes later, Gabriel Landeskog scored off a deflection of a Nathan MacKinnon shot to double the Avalanche's lead.
Jost finished off his hat trick 18 seconds after Landeskog's goal. For the second time in the period, Jost was the beneficiary of a beautiful pass from Compher. It appeared like Compher was in alone on Vasilevskiy but at the last second sent a cross-crease pass to Jost who scored into an empty net.
The Bolts had a chance early in the third period to get back in the game when Nikita Kucherov was awarded a penalty shot but Kucherov sent his backhand attempt high over the crossbar.
Just over a minute later, Nazem Kadri put the game out of reach with his third goal of the season.
Victor Hedman and Rantanen would trade goals down the stretch to round out the scoring.
While Jost provided the offense, Francouz was outstanding in goal for the visitors. Francouz ended the night with 44 saves, with the Bolts only beating him with a pair tricky deflections.
One bright spot for the Bolts was an improvement in their penalty killing. After allowing three power play goals in Thursday's victory over Boston, Tampa Bay successfully killed off both of Colorado's opportunities with the man advantage.
The Bolts will have three days between games to correct some of the mistakes made on Saturday. Tampa Bay returns to Amalie Arena to face the Penguins on Wednesday night.
COL | 3:09 Tyson Jost (2) - Samuel Girard, Colin Wilson
TBL |17:35 Yanni Gourde (1) - Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk
COL | 3:17 Tyson Jost (3) - J.T. Compher, Colin Wilson
COL | 5:48 Gabriel Landeskog (3) - Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen
COL | 6:06 Tyson Jost (4) - J.T. Compher, Colin Wilson
COL | 6:30 Nazem Kadri (3) - Cale Makar
TBL | 11:48 Victor Hedman (1) - Kevin Shattenkirk, Alex Killorn