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Goalie nods: Bobrovsky starts for Blue Jackets, as they search for 15th straight win

The Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday look for their 15th straight win (!!) and they will turn to their No. 1 goalie to help keep the streak alive.

While the Blue Jackets have been on a remarkable run, so, too, have the Wild, winners of 12 in a row, and tonight’s game is historical given their winning streaks.

The news shouldn’t come as a surprise given the stakes and the opponent, but Sergei Bobrovsky starts in goal for the Blue Jackets, per Tom Reed of the Columbus Dispatch.

Bobrovsky leads all goalies so far with 23 wins, and his solid .934 save percentage is tied for second with Jimmy Howard (among goalies with 10-plus games played). Only Devan Dubnyk of the Wild has been better in this category — and tonight’s game is shaping up to be a showdown of two goalies in the early conversation for the Vezina Trophy.

Per NHL.com, Dubnyk is expected to start for Minnesota.

Elsewhere…

— It looks like Marc-Andre Fleury will start in net for the Penguins when they host the Montreal Canadiens. Moved to the back-up spot with the rise of Matt Murray during the 2016 playoffs, Fleury now has a chance to string together some starts with Murray currently week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

— The Tampa Bay Lightning will look to close the gap in the Eastern Conference Wild Card race, and it appears they’ll turn to Andrei Vasilevskiy tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Bolts are currently four points back of the Flyers for the final Wild Card spot.

— Playing against their California rivals from L.A., the San Jose Sharks are expected to start Martin Jones, after he was given the night off Friday, per CSN Bay Area. With Jones on the bench Friday, Aaron Dell recorded the shut out, but facing the Kings on New Year’s Eve, it looks like the Sharks will turn to their undisputed No. 1 netminder.

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.