Avalanche’s Duchene (knee) expected to skate Monday

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There’s reason to be optimistic about an eventual return to the lineup for Matt Duchene. The Colorado Avalanche, as you’d might expect, are taking a more cautious approach.

According to The Denver Post, Duchene has traveled with the Avalanche to Minnesota, where Games 3 and 4 of that Western Conference quarter-final take place, and could skate on Monday. Duchene, 23, has missed the first two games of this series and hasn’t played since injuring his knee on March 29.

Just yesterday, it was announced that Duchene will likely miss the remainder of the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“That will be his first time on the ice, and we’ll see how it goes,” said Colorado’s head coach Patrick Roy, as per The Denver Post.

“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’s going to be up to our doctors and (trainers) Matt (Sokolowski) and Scotty (Woodward) to determine if he’s ready to play.”

The Avalanche opened up a 2-0 series lead over the Wild, as the series shifts to Minnesota. Game 3 goes Monday evening.