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At the Rink blog

Duchene declares himself ready to return for Avs

Thursday, 02.28.2013 / 2:30 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Duchene declares himself ready to return for Avs

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene will be back in the lineup Thursday night to play against the Calgary Flames at Pepsi Center.

Duchene missed Tuesday's game at the San Jose Sharks because of a groin injury.

"I feel good to go," Duchene said Thursday morning after taking part in the pregame skate. "I felt like I had that step. The last game-and-a-half I felt pretty awful and I definitely feel better than that, so that's a positive. Let's hope it feels good throughout the game.

"I pushed it pretty hard (Thursday) and I'm usually pretty honest with myself. It's really hard for me to sit games out. Even last game it was really hard to be in the room just watching rather than being out there. It feels good enough to go, so that's the decision."

Duchene leads the Avalanche in scoring with 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in 17 games, but he didn't register a point in three consecutive games before sitting out Tuesday.

Duchene has been centering a line with Jamie McGinn and PA Parenteau, but Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said Thursday morning he hadn't yet decided on how the top two lines would look.

Quote of the Day

You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense