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Ray Emery gets the start tonight for Blackhawks

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Ray Emery, four days removed from a spectacular 45-save performance at Calgary, will be back in the net tonight for the Blackhawks when they play Phoenix.

"Ray's coming off a tremendous game," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said after today's morning skate. "He played here last time and we won. We think he deserves a chance to get back in."

Emery actually struggled here on Jan. 20, in the Hawks' second game of the season. He gave up four goals on 29 shots, and struggled corralling the puck. Fortunately for him, Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith had the same struggles, and gave up six goals, allowing the Hawks to pull out the victory.

Quenneville said there's no great master plan for scheduling his goalies.

"We don't go too far in advance, but I'm sure the performance the other night made it easier," he said.

As for Smith, after giving up 10 goals in his first two games, he's given up just one in his last two -- narrow victories over Dallas and Minnesota. After a 1-4 start, Phoenix has gotten a point in every game during a 3-0-2 stretch.

"Obviously, the first couple games were a little shaky on my part," Smith said. "The team, we didn't play like we were capable of. We were all getting a little bit of the lockout legs out, and I think we've played a lot better as of late. Our D has been unbelievable the last four or five games. We've played a lot better. We've been pretty impressive, actually. My game's felt like it's coming around, too. All those things make for a pretty tough team to play against."

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About the blogger

Mark Lazerus was honored nationally by the Associated Press Sports Editors for three straight years at the Post-Tribune, was named one of the top three columnists in Indiana for three straight years and has won more than 20 statewide writing awards. He has covered Notre Dame for Sun-Times Media, and now covers the Blackhawks.



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This page contains a single entry by Mark Lazerus published on February 7, 2013 1:43 PM.

Coyotes' Raffi Torres says he's a changed man was the previous entry in this blog.

Blackhawks' Daniel Carcillo nearing his return is the next entry in this blog.

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