Matt Cooke made an immediate impact for the Minnesota Wild in Game 4 on Friday, coming off his seven-game suspension to deliver hits, force turnovers and create scoring chances off the forecheck. It was the kind of difference-making physical play and energy boost the Blackhawks often get from Andrew Shaw.
But the Hawks likely will have to do without it again in Game 5 on Sunday. Coach Joel Quenneville said he didn’t expect Shaw, who suffered an apparent leg injury in Game 1, to be back in the lineup.
‘‘He’s progressing,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘He felt better the last couple of days. [It’s an] encouraging sign, but I wouldn’t expect him [Sunday].’’
Shaw’s absence has been noticeable, particularly in the two games in Minnesota. The Hawks could use his physical style and willingness to fight for the puck in the corners, as well as his presence in front of the net on the power play.
‘‘It’s an opportunity for other guys to get his quality ice time,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘Shaw’s got a presence about him; he brings an intangible to your team that you appreciate. But certainly other guys have got to bring a little bit of what he possesses.’’
A tough Swede
Center Marcus Kruger looked to be seriously injured when he practically crawled off the ice in the second period after taking an elbow from the Wild’s Jared Spurgeon shortly after Bollig’s hit on Ballard. Kruger appeared to take knee-to-knee contact on the play and limped to the locker room. But he returned for the third period and is good to go for Game 5.
‘‘If you can play, you can play, right?’’ Kruger said. ‘‘I was fortunate to come back and felt good in the third.’’
Jonathan Toews’ line shut down Zach Parise’s line in Games 1 and 2. But with the Wild having the last change at home, Toews was well-shadowed by Mikko Koivu’s line and defenseman Ryan Suter. Quenneville said he hoped to get more favorable matchups back at the United Center.