Kane, Malkin, Harding named NHL’s three stars for November

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Patrick Kane captured the NHL’s first star award for the month of November on Tuesday, edging out Evgeni Malkin — who looked to be a shoe-in after winning player of the week awards twice last month.

Third star went to Minnesota goalie Josh Harding.

It was Kane, though, that topped the list, thanks in large part to pacing Chicago to 12 wins in 15 games — six of which came on the club’s annual “Circus Trip,” a lengthy road swing that saw the ‘Hawks outscore opponents 22-10 over its six victories. Kane ranked second among all skaters in November with nine goals (four game-winners), and posted a career-best 12-game point streak along the way.

Malkin led all skaters with 21 assists and 25 points in November while also topping the league in power-play assists (nine) and power-play points (10). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, his 21 assists were the most by an NHL player in one calendar month since January 1996, when Wayne Gretzky recorded 21 helpers for the Los Angeles Kings.

Harding continued his run of stellar play by posting an 8-2-2 record last month, along with a 1.88 GAA and .926 save percentage as the Wild went 9-4-2, holding onto a playoff spot in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. Harding also posted his second shutout of the season (4-0 over New Jersey on Nov. 3) and now sits top three in the NHL in GAA (1.45), save percentage (.939) and wins (14).

Fight video: Flyers’ Manning vs. Penguins’ Gaunce

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Breaking: the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers don’t like each other.

The stakes might be higher for the Penguins than the Flyers – aside from those who still believe Philly has a shot at a playoff run – their rivalry rarely subsides.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Sunday featured at least one fight, with Cameron Gaunce squaring off against Brandon Manning in a pretty spirited bout.

Manning isn’t shy about fighting, by the way; this was his seventh bout of the season, according to Hockey Fights.

Higher on the radar for the Penguins is the situation for Conor Sheary, who has been absent from the ice since about midway through the first period. PHT will keep an eye out for updates on what could be yet another injury for the health-challenged Pens.

Dreading the work week? Watch this dog get ‘ice time’ with puck

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Life is difficult, complex and confusing. Good thing we have dog videos.

Forgive this video being one night late, but for those of us who watch cute animal clips, time is a furry circle. Or something like that.

Anyway, this golden retriever got a little “ice time” before the Washington Capitals’ game against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday in what would end up being a 4-1 win for the Caps. It’s an excellent video featuring a top-notch, hilarious pooch.

Alternate joke: Now that is some puck retrieval.

Patrik Laine’s out sick for Jets on Sunday

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Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews are locked with identical goals (34), assists (27) and points (61) on Sunday, which is remarkable since Laine has played in 67 games versus 75 for Matthews. He won’t get a chance to beef up his numbers on Sunday, either.

It looks like the high-scoring rookie is missing the Winnipeg Jets’ contest against the Vancouver Canucks because of an illness, according to TSN’s Sara Orlesky.

The Jets are almost assured to miss the playoffs, so seeing Laine lose a chance to bolster his Calder argument adds a little extra sadness to the night.

NHL schedules hearing for Micheal Haley’s sucker-punch on Calle Jarnkrok

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The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced a Monday hearing for San Jose Sharks tough guy Micheal Haley for his “roughing/sucker punch” on Calle Jarnkrok of the Nashville Predators.

The league didn’t specify if Haley will face a telephone or in-person hearing on Monday afternoon. They did, interestingly, use the phrase “sucker punch” in that official announcement.

Haley received a match penalty during the game. Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer was highly upset about the hit that inspired Haley’s actions.

“When you run someone from behind in a game like that, you probably deserve to get a punch in the mouth,” DeBoer told reporters.

In other bad news for the Sharks, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz reports that Logan Couture‘s situation isn’t looking promising after he was hurt on Sunday.