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Khabibulin and Poulin to start for ‘Hawks and Isles, respectively

Oct 11, 2013, 2:16 PM EDT

Nikolai Khabibulin #30 of the Chicago Blackhawks particiaptes in warm-ups before a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins during an exhibition game at United Center on September 19, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.
(September 18, 2013 - Source: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

It’ll be the battle of the backups tonight in Chicago when Nikolai Khabibulin gets the start for the Blackhawks and Kevin Poulin goes for the visiting New York Islanders.

Neither goalie has made an appearance so far this season.

For 40-year-old Khabibulin, it will be his first regular-season game in a ‘Hawks uniform since April 12, 2009, when he shut out the Red Wings at the United Center.

Poulin started four games for the Isles in 2013, going 1-3-0 with a .893 save percentage. Obviously, getting the nod on the road against the Stanley Cup champs is going to be quite the challenge for the 23-year-old with limited NHL experience.

On top of that, the ‘Hawks should be especially motivated after what happened Wednesday in St. Louis when the Blues scored in the final minute of regulation to win by a goal.

“We have to get that game to overtime,” coach Joel Quenneville said, per CSN Chicago. “Getting one point is one thing; the second is the bonus. Here we are, .500 (1-1-1), and we felt we played three pretty good games. But we have to get that to overtime and go from there, particularly on the road.”

  1. bcisleman - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Not sure if this is the right call by Cappy. Starting the kid against, say, Buffalo might have been wiser.

  2. wmsshapiro - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    At least the Isles are smart resting the vet and give the young one a chance to play. Hopefully he be as good as the vet. If he performs well then we know we will be in good hands. We also know come playoff time we can trust him even though he got a taste last year against the Penguins. So Go Isles Go show the league that this team is team to beat this year. Yes we are back and we perform every game on the 82 game schedule. I even smell the road to STANLEY CUP.

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