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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, October 11th (All times Eastern)

New York Islanders (2-0-1) at Chicago Blackhawks (1-1-1), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The last time the New York Islanders opened a season this strong was back in 2001-02, when current general manager Garth Snow was still suiting up as one of the club's goaltenders.

The Isles will get to put their fast start to the test on Friday, when they visit the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks for a showdown at United Center.

New York is 2-0-1 to begin the season, a long way from the club's start in 2001-02, when the Islanders went 9-0-1 with a tie before finally suffering a regulation loss. Still, the quick start to the 2013-14 campaign is important for the Isles, a team that missed out on the playoffs for five straight seasons before returning to the postseason in the spring of 2013.

The Isles are coming off a lopsided victory in their last outing, as they pounded the visiting Phoenix Coyotes by a 6-1 score on Tuesday. John Tavares, a finalist for the Hart Trophy last season, scored his first two goals of 2013-14 to lead the way in the rout.

Josh Bailey recorded three points with a goal and two assists in Tuesday's triumph, while his line mates Frans Nielsen and Michael Grabner added three assists apiece. The trio is off to a red-hot start this season, accounting for 15 of New York's 30 points in the early going.

"We always have a lot of speed on our line, and that helps in the transition game," Grabner told his team's official website. "We've scored a few goals off the rush."

Peter Regin also scored and assisted on Matt Donovan's tally in the win over the Coyotes, while Evgeni Nabokov made 33 saves to pick up the win.

Fast start or no, the Isles have a tough task ahead of them Friday evening in the Windy City. This is the first meeting between the clubs since a visiting Chicago team downed the Isles 3-2 in overtime back on Dec. 8, 2011. It was the third straight win for the Blackhawks in the series overall, and the Isles also have lost two in a row at United Center.

In fact, New York is just 3-11-1 with a tie in its past 16 trips to Chicago.

The Isles hope Cal Clutterbuck's season debut can help change their fortunes against the Hawks on Friday. The physical forward was acquired from Minnesota for prospect Nino Niederreiter over the summer, but a cut to his leg during the preseason had delayed his Islanders debut.

Clutterbuck, who originally was expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks with the injury sustained on Sept. 17, had four goals, six assists and 27 penalty minutes in 42 games for Minnesota last season.

While New York tries to build off its quick start, the defending champions will try to avoid a third straight loss on Friday. Chicago began this season with a 6-4 home win over Washington, but has since lost consecutive outings against Tampa Bay and St. Louis.

After losing a shootout decision to visiting Tampa Bay on Saturday, the Blackhawks were dealt a 3-2 regulation loss Wednesday night in St. Louis. The Blues, who are expected to be Chicago's main competition for this season's Central Division crown, received the game-winning goal from Alex Steen with just 21.1 seconds remaining in regulation.

"It was a brutal loss," Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville said. "Unacceptable."

Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews each posted a power-play score and Patrick Sharp picked up a pair of helpers for the Blackhawks, while Corey Crawford played well in defeat, making 31 saves.

Chicago's 1-1-1 start to this season is obviously a far cry from the club's 21-0-3 record through its first 24 games during the shortened 2013 campaign.

This evening's tilt does kick off a brief two-game homestand for the Blackhawks, who were 18-3-3 as the home team in 2013. In fact, beginning with Friday's test Chicago gets to play four of its next five on home ice, and it wouldn't be surprising to see the Blackhawks work out the early-season kinks during its home-heavy schedule over the next several days.

10/11 10:39:46 ET

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Schedule

Friday, April 18Full Scoreboard
Montreal «4Final | Box
Tampa Bay1Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Montreal leads series, 2-0.
Detroit «1Final | Box
Boston0Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Detroit leads series, 1-0.
Dallas2Final | Box
Anaheim «3Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Anaheim leads series, 2-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
  • NASL: RailHawks vs. Ft. Lauderdale

    Today at 7:30 am on WRAL-2

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    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: Atlanta Braves at NY Mets

    Tonight at 7:05 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Tomorrow at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 0
DUR 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
CHC 1
CIN 4
Final
PIT 3
MIL 5
Final
WAS 3
STL 1
Final
CLE 2
TOR 3
Final
DET 6
ANA 11
Final
NYM 0
ATL 6
Final
BOS 4
BAL 8
Final
TAM 11
NYY 5
Final
MIA 8
SEA 4
Final
TEX 12
CWS 0
Final
KAN 5
MIN 0
Final
COL 12
PHI 1
Final
OAK 11
HOU 3
Final
LOS 2
ARI 4
Final
SDP 2
SFG 1
1:05pm Today
WAS
STL
 
1:05pm Today
CLE
TOR
 
1:08pm Today
DET
ANA
 
1:35pm Today
BOS
BAL
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
MIN
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
SEA
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
8:10pm Tonight
COL
PHI
 
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
 
12:30pm Today
TOR
BRK
3:30pm Today
LAC
GSW
7:00pm Tonight
IND
ATL
9:30pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
Final
TAM 1
MON 4
Final
BOS 0
DET 1
Final
ANA 3
DAL 2
3:00pm Today
STL
CHI
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
Final
NOR 0
DUR 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR