ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Wild left wing Matt Cooke apologized Thursday for the knee-to-knee hit on Tyson Barrie that sidelined the Colorado Avalanche defenceman for at least a month, saying he did not intend to injure him.
Cooke drew a seven-game suspension Wednesday from the NHL, removing him from the remainder of this first-round series and more. Cooke addressed reporters after taking part in the Wild's pre-game skate prior to Game 4, reiterating his past insistence that he is not a reckless player.
CHICAGO - Patrick Kane had his shot all along. Same for his dazzling puck-handling skills and the vision that sees the plays before they happen.
What Kane got back on Wednesday night was his legs, and the result was a familiar one.
Kane scored his second goal of the game at 11:17 of overtime, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 4-3 to even their first-round playoff series at two games.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - In the dressing room after Brandon Dubinsky's late goal forced overtime, Columbus Blue Jackets forward Nick Foligno half-jokingly said he'd get the winner.
Then he did it.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - After Patrick Marleau's fourth career playoff overtime goal silenced Staples Center for maybe the next-to-last time this season, the veteran San Jose Sharks forward attributed his knack for post-season heroics to one simple trait.
"Well, you just try to shoot it on net," Marleau said. "This one was not a hard shot by any means, but you just get it to the net."
PHILADELPHIA - Never afraid to raise his fists, Dan Carcillo made his mark in the league as a puncher more than a post-season star.
Carcillo was a little of both for New York in Game 3.
Derek Stepan, Martin St. Louis, Dan Girardi and Carcillo scored goals, leading the Rangers to a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.
Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31 shots to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Friday in Philadelphia.
DETROIT - The Boston Bruins took full advantage of Detroit's mistakes, and their stellar goaltender's flawless performance.
Dougie Hamilton and Jordan Caron scored in the first period after the Red Wings had miscues on the ice and Tuukka Rask finished with a 23-save shutout, giving Boston a 3-0 win over the Red Wings and a 2-1 series lead in their first-round series.
Patrice Bergeron added an empty-net goal late in the third period, sealing the lopsided game.
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Wild were denied at the net by Semyon Varlamov time after time, a 44-shot barrage in regulation that resulted in, alas, zero goals.
Coach Mike Yeo jokingly wondered aloud at the third intermission whether his team was "psychotic" to put itself through such angst. After all, the way this sport often goes, the next score in the scoreless game had the strong potential to be one of those bad-bounce goals that make a night of domination go for naught.
DALLAS - Kari Lehtonen had 37 saves, with some tremendous stops, for his first career post-season victory, and the Dallas Stars beat Anaheim 3-0 Monday night in their first home playoff game in six years.
Dallas captain Jamie Benn skated out of the penalty box to score late in the first period, and 19-year-old rookie Valeri Nichushkin added a goal for the Stars in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series. The top-seeded Ducks won each of the first two games at home, both one-goal results.
CHICAGO - Corey Crawford was there every time. Slap shots, wristers, backhands and tips, he stopped each one of them.
The Chicago Blackhawks needed a rebound game from their goaltender, and he delivered in a big way.
Crawford made 34 saves in his third career post-season shutout, and the Blackhawks got back into their playoff series with the St. Louis Blues with a 2-0 victory in Game 3 on Monday night.
COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Pittsburgh Penguins also have another P-word going for them: patience.
Brandon Sutter, Lee Stempniak and Jussi Jokinen scored in a span of 2:13 of the third period to revive the Penguins from yet another two-goal deficit in a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night.
Now up 2-1 in the best-of-seven series, the Penguins got off to a horrible start, but took charge in the final two periods.