The Chicago Blackhawks have activated goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin from injured reserve and have reassigned goaltender Antti Niemi to the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs.
Khabibulin, who has notched four wins in his last five appearances, leads the Blackhawks with a 2.37 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage while accruing a 17-5-5 mark in 29 games. The 36-year-old netminder last appeared on Feb. 11, when he notched 36 saves on 37 shots in Chicago’s 3-1 win at the Atlanta Thrashers. He has held opponents to two or fewer goals in 18 of his 29 appearances this season.
The Sverdlovsk, Russia native is three victories shy of recording the 10th 20-win season of his career and has registered 291 wins (291-264-58) in 665 career regular-season contests over the course of his 13-year NHL tenure.
Niemi made his NHL debut in three appearances with the Blackhawks since being recalled from the IceHogs on Feb. 12, posting a 1-1-1 mark with a 3.40 goals-against average and a .846 save percentage. The 25-year-old netminder recorded his first NHL win in his first NHL start on March 1, accruing 22 saves on 24 shots in Chicago’s 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. The Vantaa, Finland, native leads Rockford with a 2.41 goals-against average and two shutouts, and has notched a 13-12-3 record with a .911 save percentage in 30 AHL games during his North American professional debut.