In the otherwise funereal atmosphere of the Avalanche dressing room Sunday night, Matt Duchene briefly displayed an upward lilt to his tone when asked how he felt in his first game back after seven weeks on the injured list.

"I felt really good. I might be actually in better shape now than when I left," the Avalanche forward said after Colorado's 5-1 loss to Winnipeg.

Duchene, who suffered an injured left knee Dec. 29, played 18 minutes, 6 seconds in the game, skating at left wing on a line with Paul Stastny and Milan Hejduk.