Blackhawks face Islanders at the United Center tonight
Tonight, the Blackhawks welcome the Islanders to the United Center for the first game between these teams in nearly two years.
After several seasons of rebuilding, the Islanders are poised to make some noise in the Eastern Conference, led by newly-appointed team captain John Tavares. During those three games, the line of Michael Grabner, Josh Bailey, and Frans Nielsen has been particularly dangerous, contributing 4 goals and 11 assists.
The Islanders are 2-0-1 so far on their season, outscoring their opponents 14-9, and taking two of those games to shootouts. They are coming off Tuesday night's 6-1 romp over the Coyotes. It is the Islanders' best start since 2001-02.
Like the Blackhawks, the Islanders aren't taking many penalties thus far this season, but unlike Chicago, they are much more successful at the PK - their 85.7% PK is 8th in the league, compared to Chicago's 44.4% (30th).
NYI head coach Jack Capuano feels the game will be "huge test" for his team, commending the Blackhawks' offense and skill, and stating via the Islanders' website that "it's like they have five forwards on the ice the way they play in the offensive zone with their cycling and getting involved off the rush".
The Blackhawks felt that they have played well so far this season, but have given away points to Tampa Bay and the Blues. They will look to redeem themselves tonight against a hungry young team that has not yet given up a regulation loss.
Chicago backup goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin will get the start tonight. He will be facing off against Kevin Poulin, who will get his first start for the Islanders this season. Poulin has played 21 regular season and 2 playoff games for NYI in the past three seasons.
Game time: 7 p.m. CDT / 8 p.m. EDT
Location: United Center, 1901 W. Madison, Chicago
Where to watch: Chicago: CSN-Chicago; radio WGN 720; New York: MSG+, radio WHRU 88.7 FM and WRCN 103.9 FM; all other markets: NHL-Network