- The Colorado Avalanche
will have center Matt Duchene
back in the lineup on Thursday when they play the New Jersey Devils
at the Prudential Center.
Duchene, who suffered a right ankle injury on March 6 against the Minnesota Wild
and missed the previous four games, was originally expected to be sidelined three to four weeks.
The third-year forward is expected to center wings Peter Mueller
and Milan Hejduk
. Duchene has 13 goals and 26 points in 48 games for the Avalanche this season. He also missed 20 games with a knee injury earlier this season -- he was leading the team in goals and ranked second in points at the time of the injury.
Colorado coach Joe Sacco will start Jean-Sebastien Giguere
between the pipes. The Devils will counter with Martin Brodeur
. The Giguere-Brodeur matchup became quite an item during the 2003 Stanley Cup Final, when Brodeur helped the Devils to a seven-game series triumph -- even though Giguere won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale