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Kevin Poulin gets first start in goal

Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin stops a shot against

Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin stops a shot against the Carolina Hurricanes during the first period on Feb. 18, 2012. Photo Credit: AP

CHICAGO -- Kevin Poulin is in goal, Cal Clutterbuck is in the lineup, Matt Moulson is en route and Brock Nelson is a likely scratch.

There are a few changes coming for the Islanders on Friday night here against the Hawks, topped by Poulin getting his first start of the season in net after Evgeni Nabokov had three strong games.

Nabokov will play on Saturday in Nashville and it was just a matter of where Capuano wanted each goaltender to play. He decided on the defending Stanley Cup champions for Poulin, who will make his 18th career start. He is 3-7-0 with a 3.03 goals-against average over the past two seasons.

Clutterbuck will make his Islanders debut on Friday for sure -- it’s just a matter of who’s out at forward. Moulson stayed behind to be with his wife for the birth of their son, George, early Friday morning; if he can make it to Chicago in time and feels ready to play, he will.

Which would mean Nelson, the rookie who has played more than capably these first three games, will sit and Clutterbuck will take the right side with Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Peter Regin.

“Every game is a small test and you have to make sure you’re battling every shift,” Nelson said. “I have to continue to try and do the little things. That will help in the long run.”

Bouchard, who has no points and just one shot on goal through three games, may need to pick his game up to stay in his spot.

Nikolai Khabibulin, back in his second stint with the Hawks at age 40, gets his first start of the season in goal.

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