Ray Emery to start for Blackhawks

Updated: December 8, 2011, 12:17 AM ET
By Jesse Rogers | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Ray Emery will start in net for the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday against the New York Islanders.

"He's coming off two real solid games for us," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Good game in St. Louis and did a good job for us against Phoenix the other night. He deserves a chance to get back in there."

No. 1 netminder Corey Crawford was pulled against the Coyotes in favor of Emery on Monday. The Hawks trailed 3-0 at the time but forced overtime before losing in a shootout, 4-3. Emery made all 11 saves before losing in the shootout.

"You look at all the teams in the league," Quenneville said. "Every goalie that isn't a starter gets a chance for a couple games in a row. Sometimes even more ... so over the course of the season you'll see the other guys get multiple starts."

Crawford has been pulled in two of three starts and has struggled for several weeks. His goals-against average (3.00) and save percentage (.896) are among the worst for starting goalies in the league.

"[Goalie coach] Stephan Waite and [Corey], they can work on some things, get that confidence in the net," Quenneville said. "Steph will be working with him over the next few days to get that game back where he needs to be."

Quenneville said they plan out their goalie schedule in advance, but it's always subject to change. He wouldn't speculate about his starter past Thursday's game on Long Island.

Emery is 4-1 with a 2.93 goals-against average and a save percentage of .890 this season. He has a 1.65 career goals against average versus the Islanders.

Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPN 1000 and ESPNChicago.com.

Jesse Rogers | email

Chicago Cubs beat reporter
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.