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Open Thread: Blackhawks @ Rangers, 6:00 PMÂ CT

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Chicago Blackhawks (0-0-0) @ New York Rangers (2-0-0)

Chicago TV: Comcast Sports Net (HD)
Chicago Radio: WGN (720 AM)

Tonight's Lineup

FORWARDSLadd - Toews - Havlat
Byfuglien - Sharp - Kane
Versteeg - Bolland - Skille
Fraser - Burish - Adams

DEFENSEMENKeith - Campbell
Hjalmarsson - Seabrook
Hendry - Sopel

GOALIESStarter - Huet
Backup - Khabibulin

(from ChicagoBlackhawks.com)

Tonight, we finally get to see the beginning of the Blackhawks' 2008-2009 season as they take on the Rangers in New York. We also get to hear Pat Foley as the Hawks' play-by-man for the first time since April 18, 2006. Hard to believe it's only been a little over 2 years since he left, because we had to endure Dan Kelly for two seasons. Hopefully the announcing is not the only thing that will be improved this season.

The Rangers have actually already started their regular season since they opened up with two games in Prague against the Tampa Bay Lightning. New York was able to win both games 2-1, so they come into their home opener looking to move to 3-0 on the season. They have a fairly potent offensive attack led by Markus Naslund and Scott Gomez up front, so it will be key to stop them in order to get the win. Henrik Lundqvist is off to a good start in goal for NY as well.

You'll be seeing a couple of regular season debuts for the Hawks tonight: Cristobal Huet in net and Brian Campbell on defense. Hopefully Campbell can pot a goal or two and Huet can make some big stops so they can get their Hawks careers off to a good start.

Overall, with all the buzz surrounding this team right now, it would be nice not to lay a dud in the first game of the season. Let's hope the Blackhawks come out flying and give us reason for a little optimism to start off the year.