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Ray Emery’s production earns backup more starts

Goalie Ray Emery has whis last four starts Friday will start his fourth consecutive game. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

Goalie Ray Emery has won his last four starts and on Friday will start his fourth consecutive game. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: January 17, 2012 8:26AM



Having a backup goalie carry your team for a while if he’s playing better than your starter is nothing new for the Blackhawks or other teams. The Vancouver Canucks and St. Louis Blues are just two teams that have relied on their backups this season.

It happens over the course of a season.

“To me, this is no issue at all,” coach Joel Quenneville said of starting Ray Emery over Corey Crawford. “It’s just the way it is. It happens. It’s a good opportunity for Ray. He gets a chance to play now. You just don’t get that fifth or sixth start every once in a while. He gets a chance to keep the net a little bit. I think that’s fair. Everybody gets the opportunity or two over the course of a season.”

Emery will start his fourth consecutive game Friday when the Hawks host the Anaheim Ducks, the team he helped lead into the playoffs last season. The veteran has won his last four starts overall with a solid .926 save percentage in the victories.

“It’s a full team effort,” Emery said. “A lot of nights we get a lot of goal scoring and good effort. My mind-set is to stop the ones I need to stop.”

The Hawks’ 4-3 shootout victory against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday was the first time Emery yielded three goals since allowing seven to the Edmonton ­Oilers on the circus trip.

But the Hawks took responsibility for the Wild game.

“[Emery] played really good,” forward Patrick Kane said. “It was a tough couple of breaks on their goals. On one, we took a long shift, our line. That was our fault. And the first one was icing. You’re kind of looking for a call from the ref there, but it was a tough bounce. Overall, he played really good again. It’s good for him, especially with the position he was in at the beginning of the year.”



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