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
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
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
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