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NHL notebook: Avalanche forward Duchene may return for Game 6

| Sunday, April 27, 2014, 8:12 p.m.

The Hurricanes are expected to announce Monday that Jim Rutherford will step down as general manager and be replaced by ex-Penguins player Ron Francis, the (Raleigh) News and Observer reported Sunday night.

The Hurricanes announced a press conference for noon Monday at PNC Arena regarding hockey operations.

Francis is the Hurricanes' vice president of hockey operations and is a former team captain. He has also been an associate coach.

Francis won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 1991 and '92. He played for them over eight seasons.

Avs' Duchene could play

The Avalanche may get back regular-season leading scorer Matt Duchene for Game 6 against the Wild on Monday in the Western Conference first-round series, NHL.com reported.

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said Duchene's status will be determined after Monday's morning skate.

Duchene (23 goals, 47 assists) hasn't played since injuring the MCL in his left knee in late March. The Avalanche lead the best-of-seven series 3-2.

Vlasic may sit for Sharks

The Sharks could be without key defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic for Game 6 of their Western Conference first-round series with the Kings.

Vlasic didn't practice Sunday after getting injured in the first period of Game 5 for the Sharks, who have lost the past two games after taking a 3-0 lead in the series.

The Kings are trying to become just the fourth team in NHL history to advance from a three-game deficit.

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