Blackhawks activate goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, send Antti Niemi to minors

CHICAGO – The Chicago Blackhawks have activated goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin from injured reserve and sent goalie Antti Niemi to Rockford of the AHL.

Khabibulin, who has been sidelined by a groin injury since he was hurt Feb. 11, leads the Blackhawks with a 2.37 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage and has a 17-5-5 record in 29 games.

Khabibulin needs three wins for his 10th 20-victory season. He is 291-264-58 in 13 NHL seasons. He has shared playing time this season with Cristobal Huet.

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Niemi made his NHL debut in three appearances with the Blackhawks since being recalled from the IceHogs on Feb. 12. He was 1-1-1 with a 3.40 goals-against average and a .846 save percentage.