"We weren't as sharp on the defensive end as we'd like to be, but we got the win and that's all that matters," said Duchene.
Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom each had a goal and an assist for the Red Wings, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Jimmy Howard was charged with four goals on 10 shots before being pulled early in the first period.
Joey MacDonald, who was recalled by the team earlier in the day as goaltender Chirs Osgood will miss the next 6-to-8 weeks with a groin injury, finished the game in net and stopped 15-of-16 shots.
"It was a disappointing start," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. "We let Howie (Howard) down when we gave up the pucks. We still had every opportunity to win this game and just didn't get it done."
The first period saw six goals wind up in the net and the first one came at the 5:58 mark as Detroit lost control of the puck in front of its own net and Paul Stastny flicked it home from the left side for his 16th goal of the season.
Colorado notched the next three goals to take control of the game.
The first came 8:32 in when Duchene grabbed the puck in the neutral zone, flew down the left wing and slipped the puck past Howard from a sharp angle.
Just under four minutes later, Porter fired a shot on net from the right circle that was going wide, but it hit off the skate of Jonathan Ericsson and went in.
A beautiful 2-on-1 break between Tomas Fleischmann and Duchene was finished when Fleischmann's pass from the left to the right was one-timed in by Duchene with 5:45 to play.
MacDonald took over for Howard in net after the goal and Detroit was able to make it a two-goal game with two minutes left in the first as Brian Rafalski beat Budaj with a wrister from the slot.
Detroit blew a 2-on-1 break as a shot went wide and Colorado transitioned back to the Detroit end. Duchene snapped a pass from the left circle to the front where Jones went to the backhand and lifted it in at the 6:51 mark of the second period.
The Red Wings got one back on the power play with 4:30 to play in the second when Zetterberg tipped in a puck that had been deflected down by Holmstrom to make it a 5-3 contest.
Detroit again went to the power play to make it a one-goal game when Holmstrom scored halfway through the third.
Zetterberg has six goals and 10 assists during an 11-game point streak, which is currently the longest in the NHL...Duchene has four two-goal games this season and has 18 markers on the campaign. He has never notched a hat trick...Colorado is 14-0-0 this season when leading after two periods.