DALLAS--Matt Duchene is a player that wears his heart on his sleeves. So while he's grateful for collecting his 400th career NHL point on Thursday night, it's the two points that the Colorado Avalanche didn't get that really mattered to him.
"I think it's a nice milestone, another step on the way, but you can't really enjoy it in the loss," Duchene said afterward. "It doesn't really mean much. That's something maybe I'll look back on at the end of the year but not tonight."
Duchene had a goal and an assist in the Avalanche's 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center and is just the second player from the 2009 draft class to reach 400 points. Only his friend and No. 1 pick that year, John Taveras (496 points), achieved it faster.
The milestone point came via a nifty goal near the crease. Following some nice passing by Colorado in the Dallas zone, Duchene's original shot from up close was denied by goalie Kari Lehtonen. He then picked up his own rebound from outside the left goal post and tucked the puck into the cage with 4:12 left in the opening period.
"Nate [MacKinnon], Tyson [Barrie], Mikko [Rantanen] made some nice plays on that first," Duchene said. "Lehtonen made a really nice save on me first, and then I [was] just kind of desperate trying to put it in. I guess your instincts just take over."
Video: COL@DAL: Duchene cashes in on his own rebound
The tally was his team-leading 13th of the year and cut Colorado's deficit at the time to 2-1. Duchene now ranks second on the club in scoring this season with 24 points (13 goals and 11 assists), one behind leader Nathan MacKinnon (25 points).
After the Stars went up 3-1 through 40 minutes of play, Duchene then assisted on Mikhail Grigorenko's score at 7:27 of the third period for his 401st point, getting the Avalanche back to within one goal. However, Dallas' Tyler Seguin stopped any comeback hopes that the Avs might have had as he tallied into an empty on a long shot with 26 seconds left.
"They're a good team," Duchene noted. "Their goalies were good tonight. It's tough to come back on."
The Haliburton, Ontario, native now has 169 career goals, a mark that ranks seventh in Colorado/Quebec franchise history. Only Joe Sakic and former teammates Milan Hejduk and Peter Forsberg have scored more while in an Avalanche uniform.
"Obviously, 400 points in the NHL, I mean that's pretty good," said Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog said of his 25-year-old teammate. "Being such a young player, offensively he's been a really consistent threat in this league. Good to see him get that one."
Duchene is the 11th player in franchise history to reach the 400-point milestone and is now 13 behind Valeri Kamensky (414) for 10th place on the list.
McLEOD AND WIERCIOCH BACK IN
After being healthy scratches for the previous two games, forward Cody McLeod and defenseman Patrick Wiercioch returned to the Avalanche lineup on Thursday night. McLeod began the outing on the fourth line with John Mitchell and Andreas Martinsen, while Wiercioch was paired on defense with Eric Gelinas.
Taking their spots on the scratch list were forward Joe Colborne and defenseman Cody Goloubef.
Goaltender Semyon Varlamov was also listed as a scratched player, but he didn't make the trip to Dallas. He remained in Colorado to get his groin injury reevaluated.