ST. PAUL, Minn. — Wild left wing Matt Cooke apologized Thursday for the knee-to-knee hit on Tyson Barrie that sidelined the Avalanche defenseman for at least a month, saying he did not intend to injure him.
Cooke, a former Penguins winger, drew a seven-game suspension Wednesday from the NHL, removing him from the remainder of this first-round series and more.
“First and foremost, I want to say that I'm disappointed and sorry that Tyson Barrie can't play for the Colorado Avalanche tonight. I wish that he could,” Cooke said.
This is Cooke's sixth career suspension for various safety violations, bringing his total of games banned to 34, including playoffs.
Cooke also has been fined four times. This was his first suspension in more than three years.
Flyers make goalie switch
Steve Mason will start in goal Friday night when the Flyers host the Rangers in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series.
The Rangers lead the best-of-seven Eastern Conference series 2-1.
Ray Emery started the first three games for Mason, who sustained an upper-body injury April 12. Mason played the final 7:15 in a 4-1 loss Tuesday, stopping all three shots he faced.
Selke Trophy finalists
Anze Kopitar, Patrice Bergeron and Jonathan Toews are finalists for the NHL's Selke Trophy, awarded to the best defensive forward.
Kopitar appeared in all 82 Kings games and had the second-most ice time among forwards behind the Penguins' Sidney Crosby. Boston's Bergeron led the NHL in face-off wins (1,015). Chicago's Toews, who won the award last year, was fifth in the NHL in face-off wins (884).
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