Islanders will face 'Bulin Wall' tonight on CSN

Islanders will face 'Bulin Wall' tonight on CSN

October 11, 2013, 8:15 am
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Nina Falcone

After suffering a 3-2 loss in St. Louis on Wednesday, the Blackhawks returned home and will host the Islanders tonight at the United Center. Catch all the action beginning at 6:30 on Comcast SportsNet.

The Blackhawks are looking for their first victory since their home opener as they prepare to face off against the New York Islanders.

The Blues handed the defending Stanley Cup champions their first regulation loss on Wednesday following the Blackhawks' shootout loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning four days prior.

“We left with a lot of frustration. But today’s a new day, and we got a message that we learned: We have to get that game to overtime,” coach Joel Quenneville told reporters in St. Louis. “Getting one point is one thing; the second is the bonus. Here we are, .500 (1-1-1), and we felt we played three pretty good games. But we have to get that to overtime and go from there, particularly on the road.”

[MORE: Blackhawks remain frustrated after no points vs. Blues]

Now the Islanders (2-0-1) are coming into tonight's game following a 6-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday.

After recording two close games to kick off the season, captain John Tavares scored twice as his team held the Coyotes to just one goal in front of a home crowd. Today they'll look to continue the speed and accuracy they shot for in New York as they face off against the Blackhawks. 

"That's how we want to play. We want to play fast," Islanders coach Jack Capuano told the media. "That's the style this team wants to play."

Special teams

During the lockout-shortened season, the Blackhawks held their opponents to a league-low 18 power-play goals. But things haven't been going nearly as smoothly as the Hawks have already allowed five in just three games since the puck first dropped on Oct. 1. The defending champions are 4-for-11 with the man advantage. 

[RELATED: Blackhawks notes: Kane's focus not on numbers]

Throughout their first three games this season, the Islanders have survived 6-of-7 short-handed situations and are 3-for-10 on the power play. 

Point leaders

Blackhawks: Patrick Kane (3G, 1A), Brandon Saad (2G, 2A), Niklas Hjalmarsson (3A), Jonathan Toews (1G, 2A), Marian Hossa (1G, 1A)

Islanders: Michael Grabner (2G, 4A), Frans Nielsen (1G, 4A), Josh Bailey (1G, 3A), John Tavares (2G, 2A), Peter Regin (1G, 1A)

Goaltender matchup

Nikolai Khabibulin will get his first nod of the season as he's slated to start between the pipes tonight to kick off the first of back-to-back games for the Blackhawks this weekend. 

Following their morning skate, the Islanders told the media that backup goaltender Kevin Poulin will start in net, rather than Evgeni Nabokov. Like Khabibulin, this will be Poulin's first regular-season start of the 2013-14 campaign.