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Hawks balance workload, will start Emery Sunday

Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators

NASHVILLE, TN - FEBRUARY 14: Ray Emery #30 of the Chicago Blackhawks takes a water break in the third period during his game against the Nashville Predators at the Bridgestone Arena on February 14, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Predators defeated the Blackhawks 3-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Bruce Bennett

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford was solid in a 5-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. He’s looking to bounce back after a rough sophomore campaign, but with the condensed schedule Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville will be relying heavily on backup netminder Ray Emery as well.

To that end, Emery will get the nod on Sunday against the Phoenix Coyotes, according to CSN Chicago.

“With the back-to-back games, with six games in nine days, we want to get Ray in a game, get him part of the team right off the bat and get a game under his belt as well,” Quenneville said. “He played well for us when he played for us last year, as well.”

This could be a recurring theme all season as teams look to avoid wearing out their goaltenders. Even still, Quenneville will also ride the hot hand when he thinks its appropriate.

“The way they play dictates how often they play,” Quenneville said. “A lot of decisions come into if they’re playing well and if we need to monitor their rest.”

Like Crawford, Emery is looking to improve after a rough 2011-12 campaign. Emery had a 2.81 GAA and .900 save percentage in 34 games last season.