Goalie nods: Dubnyk will play in 12th straight game

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The Minnesota Wild haven’t given starting goaltender Devan Dubnyk many nights off this season. In fact, the only game he hasn’t played in came on Oct. 16 against the Los Angeles Kings.

Dubnyk has collected his share of wins in 2015-16, but he did struggle with some inconsistent play early on.

Instead of giving Dubnyk more time off, Wild coach Mike Yeo wanted him to play through his struggles.

“We knew that he was close to his game,” Yeo told beat reporter Michael Russo.  “We knew that he wasn’t quite on it, and we just felt that if he got some more game reps, then he would get there. You can just see it’s building. Certainly he’s on it right now.”

The 29-year-old is coming into Saturday night’s game against Dallas having won three straight games and having suffered just one regulation loss in his last seven contests.

Even though he appears to be out of his early-season funk, Dubnyk knows tonight’s game won’t be easy.

“They’re playing great,” Dubnyk said. “We have to concentrate on our group and understand that we have a great team as well. We have to go out and play a really good game against these guys but not think too much about their skill and their guys.”

Kari Lehtonen will likely be in goal for Dallas.

Elsewhere…

Michael Hutchinson will get the start for the Jets. They will face a stiff test in Pekka Rinne and the Nashville Predators.

Mike Smith will try to extend his winning-streak to three games when the ‘Yotes take on the Blue Jackets. Columbus played against Pittsburgh last night and haven’t announced who their starter will be.

Steve Mason will try to end his personal four-game losing streak on Saturday night. He has a 2-5-2 record with a 3.55 goals-against-average and a .895 save percentage. Carolina will turn to Cam Ward in this one.

-After Marc-Andre Fleury and the Penguins dropped a 2-1 result to Columbus yesterday, Pittsburgh is expected to turn to Jeff Zatkoff. The Devils will counter with Cory Schneider.

Roberto Luongo and his 4-6-2 record will take on Tampa Bay in the battle of the Sunshine State. The Bolts will go with Ben Bishop, who is coming off a win over Calgary.

-Injuries to both team’s starters means that Reto Berra will face-off against Mike Condon when the Canadiens host the Avalanche on Saturday night.

-It appears as though Ryan Miller will get the start for the Canucks on Saturday night. James Reimer will make his seventh consecutive start for the Leafs. He’s won each of his last two games and hasn’t lost in regulation since Nov. 4.

-The Sharks haven’t announced a starter for Saturday night’s game against Buffalo, but the Sabres will definitely be going with Chad Johnson. He has a 4-6-0 record and a 2.75 goals-against-average to go along with a .896 save percentage.

-After Jimmy Howard dropped a 3-2 decision to the Sharks on Friday, the Red Wings will give Petr Mrazek the start against Boston. It looks like the Bruins will go with Tuukka Rask, but that hasn’t been confirmed.

Corey Crawford will try to break out of his slump against the Blues. Crawford has dropped three of his last four games and has allowed at least three goals in each of those losses. Jake Allen, who was pulled in his last start against the Rangers, will start for St. Louis.

Cam Talbot will get the call for the Oilers. He has a 3-7-0 record with a 3.00 goals-against-average and a .893 save percentage. The Kings will probably counter with Jonathan Quick.