In the crease: DiPietro & Khabibulin

Updated: April 21, 2004, 2:46 PM ET
By Darren Pang | ESPN.com

DiPIETRO vs. KHABIBULIN
Rick DiPietro
New York Islanders
Nikolai Khabibulin
Tampa Bay Lightning
He beats you... with his moxie in the net and his puck handling, so the dump-ins should be a vital part of preparation. He is quick down low and has good hands, so he can handle a lot of pucks above the knees. He battles hard for loose pucks.

You can beat him... by having more patience with the puck, as he can overreact. He is aggressive with loose pucks around the net, playing it as much as he can, so you can flush out the boards and get turnovers if there is enough pressure.
He beats you... when he is on top of crease and challenging the shooter. He has good legs down low and a terrific glove side and reflexes.

You can beat him... by waiting for him to leave the post too early. He will slide off the post and leave the short side. When he lacks confidence, he stays too deep in his net, leaving room for the shooter.

Darren Pang, a former goaltender with the Chicago Blackhawks, is a hockey analyst for ESPN.

Darren Pang joined ESPN2 as an NHL game analyst in September 1993. He also works select ESPN National Hockey Night playoff contests and ABC Sports' telecasts. Pang played for the Blackhawks and was named to the All-Rookie team in 1987.

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