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Hawks pull Khabibulin after second

Friday, 05.22.2009 / 10:13 PM / Conference Finals: Detroit vs. Chicago

By NHL.com Staff

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin was pulled from Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night after giving up three goals in the final 5:22 of the second period, setting up a 3-3 tie heading into the third.

Cristobal Huet, who hadn't played since a home-and-home series with Detroit to conclude the regular season, took over in net to begin the third. Khabibulin was not on the Chicago bench. Third-string goaltender Corey Crawford was dressed and on the bench.

Khabibulin didn't skate at Thursday's practice, though coach Joel Quenneville attributed his absence to resting his starting goaltender.

Down 2-0 in the series, the Blackhawks had jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening minute of the second, but the Wings came roaring back on goals by defensemen Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski and Jonathan Ericsson.

Khabibulin, who entered Game 3 with an 8-6 record, 2.85 goals-against average and .899 save percentage, stopped 21 shots. Huet stopped six in the third period and got the win when Patrick Sharp's OT goal gave Chicago a 4-3 win.
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It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.

— Montreal Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threaning illness