Blackhawks kick off East coast trip vs. Islanders

Blackhawks kick off East coast trip vs. Islanders
January 2, 2014, 7:00 am
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Nina Falcone

The Blackhawks have hit the road for a pair of back-to-back games and will face off against the New York Islanders tonight. Catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet beginning at 6:00.

After finishing off 2013 with a 1-0 shutout victory over the Los Angeles Kings, the Blackhawks are beginning the New Year in New York as they face off against the Islanders tonight.

The Islanders (13-21-7) are coming into tonight's game following a pair of wins over the Minnesota Wild and Boston Bruins on the road. Now they'll begin a three-game homestand against the defending champions.

[MORE: Patrick Kane named to U.S. Olympic roster]

Tonight marks the first matchup of the Blackhawks' two-game road trip; they'll face the New Jersey Devils tomorrow night.

The Blackhawks recorded a 3-2 win in their previous meeting with the Islanders back on Oct. 11.

Point leaders

Blackhawks: Patrick Kane (23G, 30A), Patrick Sharp (22G, 19A), Jonathan Toews (15G, 25A), Duncan Keith (3G, 36A), Marian Hossa (14G, 20A)

Islanders: John Tavares (16G, 28A), Kyle Okposo (15G, 25A), Frans Nielsen (15G, 17A), Thomas Vanek (9G, 13A), Andrew McDonald (3G, 14A)

Goaltender matchup

Corey Crawford will return to the net for the first time since Dec. 8 when he sustained a lower-body injury. Antti Raanta and Jason LaBarbera both made the trip out east, but Raanta will be the one to backup Crawford.

The Islanders have yet to announce who will get the start in net, but it's likely Evgeni Nabokov will be between the pipes. Nabokov's posted a .903 save percentage and 2.89 goals-against average in 21 games this season.

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