Report: Duchene to miss at least first two games of Avalanche-Wild series

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It looks like the Colorado Avalanche will be without their leading scorer Matt Duchene for at least the first two games of their opening-round series against the Minnesota Wild, according to The Denver Post.

The 23-year-old Duchene, who led the Avalanche with 70 points in the regular season, suffered a knee injury in a game against the San Jose Sharks at the end of last month and was expected to miss four weeks as a result.

The absence of Duchene at end the regular season meant 18-year-old rookie Nathan MacKinnon slipped back into the middle on Colorado’s top line. And now MacKinnon’s first ever taste of Stanley Cup playoff hockey will occur without the support of Duchene in the lineup for at least the short term.

No pressure, right?

“Obviously, with ‘Dutchy’ out it puts a lot more pressure on everybody else. But we have tons of good forwards. It’s not just going to be me that they’re going to be paying attention to,” MacKinnon told The Denver Post.

“I think it’s good that, if they key on one guy, we’ll have other guys step up. They’re going to have to kind of choose who they want to pick their battles with.”