NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, March 15th
(All times eastern)
New York Islanders (23-38-8) at Chicago Blackhawks (37-20-9), 3 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Chicago Blackhawks will try to wrap a four-game
homestand on a positive note in an afternoon battle with the New York
Islanders at the United Center.
Chicago has lost two of three so far on the stand, getting blown out by
Colorado, 5-1, last Sunday before rebounding with a shootout win over Carolina
three days later.
However, the Blackhawks were dealt a 5-3 setback by Columbus on Friday to lose
for the third time in four games overall. Brent Seabrook and Kris Versteeg
each had a goal and an assist in the setback for Chicago. Versteeg has now
scored in three of his last four games and leads all rookie skaters with 29
assists and 48 points.
Cristobal Huet was charged with four goals on 21 shots in the loss and he has
yielded at least four goals in four of his last six starts (2-3-0). That could
lead Chicago to start Nikolai Khabibulin, who was activated from injured
reserve on Wednesday from a groin injury and hasn't played since February 11.
Khabibulin is 17-5-5 on the season but is just 5-9-0 with a 3.87 goals against
average lifetime versus the Islanders. Huet, meanwhile, is 6-2-0 with a tie
and 1.78 GAA against them.
Chicago, which is 18-7-6 at home this year, is fourth overall in the Western
Conference, four points ahead of Vancouver.
The Blackhawks will be aiming to end a four-game skid to the Islanders today.
They haven't beaten the club since a 3-2 win in New York on December 10, 2002.
New York's 2-1 overtime win on January 17, 2006 was its second straight
victory in the Windy City after going winless in 11 trips there.
Chicago will face a New York squad today that was cooled off a bit by Eastern
Conference-leading Boston on Saturday. The Islanders had won five of their
last seven heading into that contest, but were dealt a 2-1 setback.
Mark Streit scored the lone goal for the Islanders and Yann Danis stopped 23
shots in defeat. Blake Comeau had a six-game point streak come to an end in
The Islanders are now at the halfway mark of their six-game road trip and are
1-1-1 thus far on the trek. New York still has visits to Carolina and Ottawa
left on the swing and is just 7-24-3 overall on the road this season.
The Isles are last in the NHL with 54 points.
03/15 10:32:40 ET