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Cooke returns to bring even more toughness to Wild

Created: 05/07/2014 6:38 PM KAALtv.com

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Wild have done a good job of putting the brakes on Chicago's high-flying offense through the first three games of the Western Conference semifinals.

The Wild trail 2-1 in the series, but they have not allowed the Blackhawks to get more than 22 shots on net in a game yet. Now they get tough guy Matt Cooke back to help keep the defensive pressure going.

Cooke will play on Friday night in Game 4 after serving a seven-game suspension for a knee-to-knee hit on Colorado's Tyson Barrie in the first round. The hit renewed criticism of Cooke as a dirty player.

Cooke struck an almost defiant tone on Wednesday, saying people "are entitled to their opinions." He says it's not his job to try to change those opinions.

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AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File