Cooke suspended 7 games; Nino to take his place on 3rd line

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There will be one less Cooke in the Wild's kitchen as they try to come back against the Avalanche.

Matt Cooke has been suspended by the NHL for 7 games for his knee-to-knee hit on Colorado defender Tyson Barrie Monday. The suspension means he’ll miss game four Thursday night – and the rest of the first round series, should the Wild keep winning.

If the Wild win the series with the Avalanche, Cooke will also miss a portion of the Western Conference semifinals.

Cooke was in New York for an in-person hearing with league officials Thursday. Cooke’s history likely played a factor into the suspension. He's been suspended multiple times over his career, but not since 2011.

Barrie is out 4-6 weeks with the injury. His teammates didn't hide their feelings on Cooke's suspension.

Head coach Mike Yeo said after practice today Nino Neiderreitter will take Cooke's spot on the third line.

Michael Russo of the Star Tribune laid out the team's expected lines on Twitter.

In net for the Wild will be Darcy Kuemper who stopped all 22 Colorado shots in Minnesota's game three 1-0 overtime victory Monday. The 23-year-old spoke with the Pioneer Press' Brian Murphy about getting that starting job.

While Kuemper and Cooke grab many of the headlines, the game three hero – goal-scorer Mikael Granlund – was profiled by Tuesday. The piece talks about the 22-year-old Fin's big expectation swings, "from hyped rookie, to disappointment, to pleasant surprise, to on-ice leader." If you missed Granlund's game-winner, here's a GIF of the entire sequence.

Meanwhile, the NHL has confirmed the time of Saturday's game five for 8:30 p.m. CDT.

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