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Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Updated: January 3, 1:48 AM ET
Corey Crawford to play vs. Islanders

By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford will start against the New York Islanders on Thursday after missing nearly a month with a lower-body injury, coach Joel Quenneville said Wednesday.

"He's ready to go," Quenneville said after practice at Johnny's IceHouse West. "Looking forward to seeing him play. He's excited about it. He's going tomorrow."

Crawford, who has been sidelined since Dec. 8, is 17-6-3 with a 2.47 goals-against average and .907 save percentage this season.

"I feel great," Crawford said. "I'm excited to start playing again. It's been a little too long. It'll be nice to get back into a game."

The Blackhawks will take three goaltenders -- Crawford, Antti Raanta, Jason LaBarbera -- with them for their upcoming two-game trip. They play the New Jersey Devils on Friday.

"It's very short term," Quenneville said. "We'll come out of the trip and make a decision. Antti is going to back up tomorrow. That's where we're at."

Raanta, a rookie, started 10 consecutive games in place of Crawford and is 10-1-3 with a 2.21 GAA and .913 save percentage this season.