Khabibulin and Poulin to start for ‘Hawks and Isles, respectively

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It’ll be the battle of the backups tonight in Chicago when Nikolai Khabibulin gets the start for the Blackhawks and Kevin Poulin goes for the visiting New York Islanders.

Neither goalie has made an appearance so far this season.

For 40-year-old Khabibulin, it will be his first regular-season game in a ‘Hawks uniform since April 12, 2009, when he shut out the Red Wings at the United Center.

Poulin started four games for the Isles in 2013, going 1-3-0 with a .893 save percentage. Obviously, getting the nod on the road against the Stanley Cup champs is going to be quite the challenge for the 23-year-old with limited NHL experience.

On top of that, the ‘Hawks should be especially motivated after what happened Wednesday in St. Louis when the Blues scored in the final minute of regulation to win by a goal.

“We have to get that game to overtime,” coach Joel Quenneville said, per CSN Chicago. “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.”