It’ll be rookie Antti Niemi in the Blackhawks’ net rather than Cristobal Huet when the Edmonton Oilers and ex-Hawk Nikolai Khabibulin make their first appearance of the season at the United Center. In bypassing Huet, Quenneville nixed a matchup of the Hawks’ two goaltenders of last season. Huet struggled mightily, allowing three goals in the first five shots he faced in Monday’s 6-5 overtime win over Calgary but Quenneville said that was only part of the reason he went with Niemi. He noted that Niemi had a shutout in Finland and a win in relief against Calgary and deserved to make his first start on home ice. Huet figures to be between the pipes Thursday at Nashville.
Kepler went 3-for-3 with two homers and a double against Hendricks in the Cubs’ 5-4 loss to the Twins
A win Thursday night will start with containing the Wings’ leading scorer, Arike Ogunbowale.