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Blackhawks 3, Islanders 2

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- Michal Handzus' tapped in a rebound of Duncan Keith's second period slap shot for the winning goal as the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the New York Islanders 3-2 Friday night at the United Center.

Keith's shot came from just inside the blueline. Standing right in front of Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin, Handzus flicked the loose puck into the net at 6:45 of the middle period, a goal that would hold up the rest of the way as Chicago improved to 2-1-1.

New York (also 2-1-1) suffered its first loss of the young season.

Even with the loss, the Islanders are still 10-2-5 in their last 17 regular season games, dating back to the end of the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign.

Chicago scored first when Niklas Hjalmarsson slipped a pass through the crease to rookie Joakim Nordstrom, who easily pushed his first NHL career goal past the outstretched Poulin at 9:32 of the first period.

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews added his second goal of the season at 16:05 of the opening period to make it 2-0.

Things looked as if they would continue to go Chicago's way until the final minute of the opening period, as the Islanders scored twice in 50 seconds.

Josh Bailey's wrist shot with 55 seconds left sailed past Blackhawks backup goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, followed by Kyle Okposo's backhander with five seconds left.

Now in his 18th NHL season and second career stint with the Blackhawks, Khabibulin, just three months shy of 41 years old, made his first appearance and start in goal of the young season, giving No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford a night off.

Chicago regained the lead on Handzus' goal and New York was unable to rally after that.

Khabibulin stopped 17 of 19 shots while Poulin stopped 25 of 28 shots.

Chicago forward Patrick Kane's bid for a fourth goal in as many games came to an end. Kane had scored a goal in each of the team's first three games this season, the first time he's done so in his seven-year NHL career.

NOTES: Attendance was 21,196. ... While the Blackhawks came into Friday night's game leading the all-time series 43-38-20-1, although the Islanders had won six of the last nine games (6-1-2) at the United Center. ... Friday and Saturday mark the first of 18 sets of back-to-back games for Chicago, which was 20-2-2 in back-to-back games in last year's lockout-shortened season. ... Blackhawks RW Patrick Sharp needs one goal for 200 in his NHL career. He'll also play in his 600th NHL game Saturday vs. Buffalo. ... Islanders coach Jack Capuano will coach his 200th NHL game Saturday at Nashville. ... Friday marked the first of five games in eight days for the Blackhawks, who host the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, play at Carolina on Tuesday, host the St. Louis Blues on Thursday and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 19. The Islanders also play five games in eight days, starting with Friday's game, followed by Saturday at Nashville, Tuesday vs. Buffalo, Thursday vs. Edmonton and Oct. 19 vs. Carolina.
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