The season-opening victory came after Colorado had honored longtime captain Joe Sakic by retiring his sweater No. 19 in a pre-game ceremony. He announced his retirement in July.
Wolski, whose goal production has decreased each of the last two seasons, gave the Avalanche a 2-1 lead by scoring on a wrister with 10:55 to play in the first period. He then scored the second of Colorado's three second-period goals.
Darcy Tucker, Cody McLeod and John-Michael Liles also scored for Colorado, which finished last in the Western Conference a year ago.
San Jose had the best regular-season record in the NHL last year, but was eliminated by Anaheim in the opening round of the playoffs.
Wolski scored 22 goals during the 2006-07 season and then had 18 and 14 goals the next two years.