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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, November 18th (All times eastern)

Chicago Blackhawks (7-4-5) at Phoenix Coyotes (8-8-0), 9:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - After playing 11 of their last 14 games in the Windy City, the Chicago Blackhawks begin a six-game road trip tonight with a visit to Phoenix to take on the Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.

Chicago hits the road after a 2-1-2 homestand, a residency that ended with a 6-5 setback to San Jose on Sunday. Chicago used a string of three goals to take a 5-4 lead into the second intermission, but San Jose tied the game shortly into the final stanza before getting the winning goal late in the frame.

Kris Versteeg netted a pair of goals for the Blackhawks, who lost the last three tests of their homestand. Brian Campbell and Cam Barker each finished with a goal and two assists in the loss, while Cristobal Huet made 25 saves.

Chicago's upcoming trip is its second-longest of the season, behind only its eight-game swing from January 28-February 13 later in the season. The club is 1-3-1 on the road this year.

With Huet having played in net on Sunday, the Blackhawks are likely to go with Nikolai Khabibulin tonight, as the club continues to rotate netminders. Khabibulin has made nine starts to Huet's seven, going 4-1-4 with a 2.38 goals against average.

Khabibulin was in net for Chicago's 4-1 home victory over the Coyotes back on October 15 -- the team's first win of the season following an 0-2-1 start -- making 29 saves. Lifetime against the franchise, he is 8-3-1 with a 1.82 GAA.

Huet, meanwhile, has never lost to Phoenix, going 3-0-0 with a tie and 2.68 GAA.

Overall, the Blackhawks have won three straight and five of their last six against the Coyotes and two of three in Phoenix.

With the Coyotes playing their second straight game at home tonight, captain Shane Doan is slated to become the third player in franchise history to reach the 900-games played plateau. Doan, who has played all of his career tests with the Winnipeg/Phoenix franchise, will join Teppo Numminen (1,098 games) and Thomas Steen (950 games).

Doan has a team-best nine goals and 17 points so far this year and 236 goals and 331 assists for 567 points in his career.

He will try to help the Coyotes halt a two-game skid that has followed three victories in a row, as Phoenix fell at home to Dallas, 3-2, on Saturday. Steven Reinprecht and Kevin Porter both scored for the Coyotes.

Ilya Bryzgalov, making his ninth consecutive start for Phoenix, allowed three goals on 19 shots in defeat. He is 5-4-0 with a 2.12 GAA in that span. Bryzgalov's longest personal consecutive starts streak is 12 games, done so from November 17-December 13, 2007.

Bryzgalov is 4-3-2 with a 2.17 GAA in nine games versus the Blackhawks, allowing four goals in taking the loss against them earlier this year.

Phoenix is 5-3-0 at home this year and plays its next four on the road following this test.

11/18 10:51:52 ET


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