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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
POSTED ON Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 3:03 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Wild's Cooke issues statement on Barrie hit

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cooke made his first public statement since his knee-on-knee hit injured Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie in Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series Monday at Xcel Energy Center.

Cooke was suspended seven games Wednesday by the NHL Department of Player Safety as a result of the hit. Barrie is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with an MCL injury in his left knee.

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POSTED ON Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 2:43 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Avalanche, Wild turn focus back to Game 4

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round series between the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche has been a subplot the past 48 hours with fallout from the knee-on-knee hit by Wild forward Matt Cooke on Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie taking center stage.

It was announced after Game 3, played Monday, that Barrie would miss at least a month with an MCL injury in his left knee. Wednesday, Cooke was suspended for seven games for kneeing by the NHL Department of Player Safety.

An extra day off between Games 3 and 4 allowed for more talk about the hit.

"It's amazing isn't it, just one extra day between games in the playoffs, it feels like a week," Wild coach Mike Yeo said.

Game 4 takes place Thursday at Xcel Energy Center (9:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN2, RDS2, ALT, FS-N, FS-WI). Colorado leads the best-of-7 series 2-1.

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.23.2014 / 4:46 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Avalanche forward Hishon to debut in Game 4

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Colorado Avalanche forward Joey Hishon will make his NHL debut in Game 4 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday at Xcel Energy Center (9:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN2, RDS2, ALT, FS-N, FS-WI).

Hishon, Colorado's first-round pick (No. 17) in the 2010 NHL Draft, was skating with the team's American Hockey League affiliate on Tuesday in Cleveland. He got a call afterward that he had been recalled.

"Can't even explain the emotion," Hishon said Wednesday. "Very anxious, very excited, I'm just happy to be here."

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 04.23.2014 / 4:27 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Wild may look to Niederreiter to play shutdown role

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild will count on two rookies and a 21-year old in a major defensive role in Game 4 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday at Xcel Energy Center (9:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN2, RDS2, ALT- FS-N, FS-WI).

Colorado leads the best-of-7 series 2-1.

With forward Matt Cooke facing possible suspension from the NHL for his knee-to-knee hit on Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie in Game 3, the Wild are expected to move Nino Niederreiter into Cooke's left wing spot on the third line next to center Erik Haula and right wing Justin Fontaine.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 6:59 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Wild face likelihood of playing without Cooke

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild will likely be without a key member of their lineup Thursday when they host the Colorado Avalanche in Game 4 of their Western Conference First Round series.

Wild forward Matt Cooke is facing a hearing in New York on Wednesday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for a knee-on-knee hit on Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie in Game 3 on Monday.

Cooke has a history of being disciplined by the League, having been suspended five times since 2004. But the last time he was punished was March 2011 for an elbow to New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh.

Signed by the Wild last summer as a free agent after five seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Cooke did not have a major penalty in 82 games this season. He's also developed into a leader in the Wild locker room as one of two players on the Minnesota roster with his name on the Stanley Cup.

"He's an important player to our team, there's no question," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "There's a reason why he was brought here and physicality is only a very small part of it. It's his leadership, his experience, his role as a penalty-killer and as a checking forward. Certainly, it's a loss for our lineup."


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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 4:30 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Granlund goal highlights turnaround season for Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- In the span of just over a year, Minnesota Wild forward Mikael Granlund has gone from hyped rookie, to disappointment, to pleasant surprise, to on-ice leader.

Granlund scored the game-winning goal 5:08 into overtime Monday in Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round Playoff series against the Colorado Avalanche. His goal breathed new life into the Wild, who trail the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Game 4 is Thursday at Xcel Energy Center (9:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN2, RDS2, ALT, FS-N, FS-WI).

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 04.22.2014 / 4:19 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Avalanche facing injury again, recall Hishon

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Colorado Avalanche have overcome a number of injuries to crucial players all season. Now, in a Western Conference First Round series against the Minnesota Wild, the Central Division champions will have to do it again.

The Avalanche will be without defenseman Tyson Barrie for the remainder of the series and beyond after a knee-to-knee hit from Wild forward Matt Cooke in Game 3 on Monday. Barrie is expected to be sidelined 4-6 weeks.

Game 4 is Thursday at Xcel Energy Center (9:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN2, RDS2, ALT, FS-N, FS-WI).

A little more than two minutes into the second period of a scoreless game, Cooke tried to finish an open-ice check on Barrie near the Wild bench. Their left knees collided and Barrie remained on the ice for a short time. He got to the bench on his own, but was not able to put weight on the leg as he skated off, then went down the tunnel to the locker room.

Minnesota won, 1-0 in overtime, and trails the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Barrie's loss is a big one for the Avalanche, already playing without forwards Matt Duchene (knee) and John Mitchell (concussion).

"Without a doubt, an important player to our team," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "He's very good on the power play, but more than that, he's always in the rush."

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.21.2014 / 1:22 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Kuemper to start as Wild make several lineup changes

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild will make several lineup changes for Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday at Xcel Energy Center (7 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, TSN, RDS, ALT, FS-N).

Colorado leads the best-of-7 series 2-0.

Rookie Darcy Kuemper will make his first start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Kuemper relieved starterIlya Bryzgalov in the second period of a 4-2 loss in Game 2 on Saturday and stopped all 14 shots he faced. He also appeared in two Stanley Cup Playoff games last year in relief of Josh Harding.

"It's not just the saves he's making, but the way he's making saves," coach Mike Yeo said. "He looked really confident in practice."

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POSTED ON Monday, 04.21.2014 / 1:12 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Avalanche's Duchene skates for first time since injury

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene skated on his own during the morning skate Monday prior to Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

It was Duchene's first time on the ice since sustaining an injury to the MCL in his left knee March 29 against the San Jose Sharks.

Duchene missed the final eight games of the regular season with the ailment, but still led the Avalanche with 47 assists and 70 points this season.

"It was part of the process," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "The trainer thought it was a good time for him to start skating today. We'll go day-to-day with him."

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POSTED ON Sunday, 04.20.2014 / 8:13 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Wild's third line to try to slow MacKinnon and Co.

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo would not tip his hand Sunday regarding potential lineup changes and adjustments in preparation for Game 3 against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday, but it's safe to say he's working on a plan to slow down and limit the effectiveness of Colorado's top line of Gabriel Landeskog, Paul Stastny and Nathan MacKinnon.

Colorado leads the Western Conference First Round series 2-0 as it shifts to Minnesota, where Yeo will have last change and the chance to match up against that line how he pleases. Although the Wild coach wouldn't divulge his plan, it's been his third line tasked with the tough matchups all season.

"We were able to get those guys out there quite a bit in the first game," Yeo said. "It's obviously a possibility that we'll assemble a line that we'll assign the task of making sure that you're going out there and doing the job against those guys."


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I didn't think it would actually work, but it ended up working, so I'm thanking my lucky stars tonight.

— Columbus forward Nick Foligno on scoring the overtime goal after telling the Blue Jackets in the locker room that he would win the game