It's official. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville confirmed what many already felt. Antti Niemi will start Tuesday night against the Dallas Stars at the United Center.
"He's coming off an outstanding game in St. Louis," Quenneville said after the morning skate. "It's a good opportunity for him to get back-to-back games here. We'll see how he responds."
Cristobal Huet's previous performances against the Stars were also a reason why Niemi got the nod. He allowed four goals in each of the teams' two meetings. Huet only faced 10 shots in the second game.
"At the end of the day, it was two frustrating losses when I look back at both games," Quenneville said. "But that's where we're at with them. We got a tough history going into tonight's game and we'll like to rectify it."
Niemi is 14-4-1 with a .922 save percentage. His 1.93 goals-against average is one of the best in the league.
* When asked how he felt the Hawks' power play has been recently, Quenneville made it very clear. "Not very good," he said. "It's area where we need some production."
* Tuesday is also Tony Esposito Heritage Night.