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Duchene to skate with Avalanche; Mitchell travels too

Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 5:39 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent / Avalanche-Wild series blog

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Duchene to skate with Avalanche; Mitchell travels too

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene accompanied the team to Minnesota on Sunday and is expected to skate for the first time since injuring his knee March 29 against the San Jose Sharks when the team practices at Xcel Energy Center on Monday.

Center John Mitchell is also on the trip, though it isn't known if he'll attempt to skate. He hasn't been on the ice since sustaining a concussion April 10 against the Vancouver Canucks.

The Avalanche lead the Minnesota Wild 2-0 in their best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series. Game 3 is Monday (7 p.m. ET; RDS, TSN, NHLN-US, ALT, FS-N).

Duchene, who led the Avalanche in scoring with 70 points in 71 games, was expected to miss about four weeks after sustaining an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in a collision with linemate Jamie McGinn. He missed the final eight regular-season games, and coach Patrick Roy has been saying he doesn't expect Duchene to play in the series against the Wild.

"We'll see how it goes," Roy said before the Avalanche boarded their charter flight. "Our trainers are doing a really good job. They're working really hard and they're confident that Matt will continue to do well.

"We're not going to push. We're going to be very smart about when he's going to come back. He's going to want to play soon, and it'll be up to our doctors (and trainers) to determine if he's ready to play. I know he might try to come back faster, but we're not going to let him come back until our doctors are extremely comfortable with it."

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My focus is always just to play as well as I can and do my job, no matter where the faceoff is.

— New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin on using his speed to his advantage
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