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Barzal, Strome prove explosive as Canada beats Russia at World Juniors

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Dylan Strome would prefer to play for the Arizona Coyotes in the NHL right now, but he’ll have to settle for putting up big numbers for Canada at the 2017 World Juniors. So far, he’s doing just that.

Strome (third overall in 2015) and Mathew Barzal (16th pick by the New York Islanders in that same year) were big factors in Canada’s WJC-opening 5-3 win against Russia on Monday.

Strome scored two goals while Barzal was named the player of the game, collecting the game-winner as well as two assists.

Canada’s other two standouts were Tyson Jost, who enjoyed a strong first period, and the team’s power play, which generated three of their five tallies. Jost justified at least some wishful thinking among Colorado Avalanche devotees as the 10th pick of the 2016 NHL Draft.

The Canadians carried much of the play early on in particular, hogging the puck and carrying a 3-1 lead into the third period.

The final frame saw the two countries trade goals with Canada ultimately coming through with that 5-3 win.

Canada might have to worry a bit about goaltending (Philadelphia Flyers prospect/48th pick from 2016 Carter Hart allowed those three goals despite just 17 shots on goal), but overall, it was a strong showing for the perennial contender.

Also, the country’s goaltending is basically meme fuel anyway.

Other games

Sweden 6, Denmark 1

Czech Republic 2, Finland 1

U.S. 6, Latvia 1. More on that game here.

Also, if you want to read up on the Flyers’ bounty of World Juniors invitees, check this post.

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.