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Peter Mueller returned as well, perhaps even a little ahead of schedule. The Avs were planning to hold out Mueller another game, but he was pressed into action with Galiardi and Winnik heading out of town. Mueller was activated off injured reserve after sitting out six games with a torso ailment.
The Ducks didn't make any moves at the trade deadline, preferring to stick with the squad that's worked them back into contention. Boudreau said he's never seen a tighter bunch, especially because they've had to skate with a playoff-mentality since Jan. 1
Near the basement of the standings on New Year's Day, the Ducks have gone 17-5-4 since to work their way back into the postseason picture.
O'Reilly scored the decisive goal thanks to a bit of a lucky bounce. Gabriel Landeskog tried to corral a pass down low, only to have it bound away and straight to O'Reilly, who knocked it past Jonas Hiller.
"It's a huge goal for me," O'Reilly said. "I haven't been finding the net too well lately, been missing a lot of shots. To have a nice bounce like that is definitely great."
A few minutes later, Paul Stastny and Duchene were on a breakaway with only Cam Fowler between them. Fowler tried to slide across the ice to take away the passing lane, but Stastny hopped a pass over Fowler and straight to Duchene, who knocked it in for his first goal since Dec. 23.
Duchene just recently returned after missing 20 games with a knee injury.
"It felt darn good," Duchene said. "As soon as I whacked it, I knew it was going in."
NOTES: The prospects the Avs acquired Monday were Mike Connolly and Michael Sgarbossa. ... Avs D Stefan Elliott was wearing a helmet with a full cage after taking a puck to the face against Detroit and needing several stitches. ... Along with Downie, Landeskog and D Jan Hejda also had two assists for Colorado. ... Hiller made his 22nd straight start Monday, one away from the team record held by Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who's now with Colorado, and Guy Hebert.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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