Goalie nods: Bobrovsky goes for fourth straight shutout, franchise record

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Sergei Bobrovsky will be going for history tonight in Columbus.

Having reeled off three consecutive shutouts, Bobrovsky can set the longest shutout streak of this NHL season and the longest in franchise history when the Jackets host Buffalo at Nationwide.

Bobrovsky needs 3:16 of shutout hockey to break Devan Dubnyk‘s mark for this year, and 19:28 to set the mark Steve Mason set for Columbus during the 2008-09 campaign.

After a so-so January and February, the Russian tender has stormed back in March with some of his finest play of the season. Technically, his bounce-back began late last month, allowing just three goals on 60 shots in consecutive outings against the Rangers and Habs.

In March? Oh, just a 38-save shutout against the Wild, then 20- and 33-save blankings of the Devils.

All told, Bobrovsky’s numbers on the year put him in the Vezina conversation. He leads the NHL in wins, with 35, to go along with a .931 save percentage and 2.05 GAA.

For the Sabres, Robin Lehner‘s in goal.

Elsewhere…

Jimmy Howard, who’s been out since Dec. 20 with an injury, will get the nod tonight when the Wings host the ‘Hawks. No word yet on a Chicago starter, but it’s very likely Corey Crawford will be the guy.

— Minnesota will give Devan Dubnyk the night off, and start Darcy Kuemper in Florida. James Reimer goes for the Panthers, who are still without No. 1 netminder Roberto Luongo. He’s dealing with a hip/groin injury.

— The Ducks haven’t made it official yet, but Jonathan Bernier could make another start tonight in St. Louis. It would be his second in as many nights, after a brilliant 43-save shutout win over Chicago last night. Jake Allen starts for the Blues.

Cam Talbot will make his NHL-leading 60th start tonight as Edmonton plays its 67th game of the year. The host Penguins are going with Marc-Andre Fleury.