Blackhawks News

Chicago Blackhawks: Nikolai Khabibulin Officially Returns Tonight

By Keith Schultz

Sep 28, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks goalie

Nikolai Khabibulin

(39) catches a popped up puck during the third period against the Washington Capitals at United Center. Chicago won 4-3 in OT. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Nikolai Khabibulin makes his return to the net for the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time since 2009 tonight against the New York Islanders.  Khabibulin’s last regular season start was memorable, on April 12. 2009 Khabibulin led the Blackhawks to a 3-0 shutout win in the season finale against the Detroit Red Wings. It was his 6th shutout while wearing a Blackhawks jersey and his 41st of his career.

Khabibulin now returns to the scene of the crime this time not as a starter and high priced goalie, but as a backup for Corey Crawford. Khabibulin’s Blackhawks record going into to tonight is 90-80-24 with a 2.81 Goals Against Average with .905 Save Percentage.

Although he only played parts of 5 seasons with the Blackhawks, Khabibulin still ranks 9th all-time in regular season wins as a goalie, and he currently sits 5 wins over current #1 goalie Corey Crawford in wins.

The Islanders can put the puck in the net so tonight will be a good test to see what Khabibulin is ready to provide the Blackhawks this season.  What is your expectations for Khabibulin tonight? Is there anyway he can live up to what Ray Emery provided last season?

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