MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: Wild even series with 4-2 win
ST. PAUL (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Cooke provided an immediate spark in his return from a suspension and the Minnesota Wild remained undefeated at home in these playoffs with a 4-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Jason Pominville, Nino Niederreiter, Justin Fontaine and Jared Spurgeon supplied the goals for the Wild, who have outscored the opposition 16-5 while winning all five games at Xcel Energy Center. Ilya Bryzgalov made 18 saves as the Wild evened this Western Conference semifinal series at two games apiece. Patrick Sharp and Michal Handzus each had goals, and Corey Crawford stopped 27 shots for Chicago, which will host Game 5 on Sunday.
Cooke received a seven-game ban for kneeing Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie in Game 3 of the opening round, and he didn't take long to make his presence felt, helping give Minnesota an early lead.
The Minnesota Vikings made two third-round selections yesterday at the NFL Draft in Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Vikings drafted, 6-3, 275-pound Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton and drafted Georgia Southern running back Jerick McKinnon, 5-9, 209 lbs. The final four rounds of the draft conclude today.
Kurt Suzuki hit a two-run single off Justin Verlander in the seventh inning Friday night and the Minnesota Twins beat the Detroit Tigers 2-1 to open a three-game series. Phil Hughes (4-1) threw seven shutout innings to extend his winning streak to four straight starts, including two against Detroit. The right-hander struck out three and gave up eight hits without a walk. Verlander (4-2) lost to the Twins for the first time in more than four years, snapping a nine-decision winning streak spanning 12 starts. He allowed seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts in 114 pitches.