The Chicago Blackhawks will be without center Artem Anisimov for their matchup against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday due to an undisclosed lower-body injury. The team announced the news, along with his day-to-day status going forward, just before puck drop in British Columbia.
Dennis Rasmussen is replacing Anisimov in the lineup Sunday night. Teuvo Teravainen is getting the bump into Anisimov's place on the second line, so there's an extra reason to watch. Here are the lines:
Anisimov has been quiet the past few weeks, so a nagging injury isn't a complete surprise. The second-line center hasn't recorded a point in his past three games and has just six points in his last 19 contests. He started the season playing quite well between Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin, but hasn't been able to sustain it for 82 games. His recent slump has seen his points per game dip from 0.58 in the first 55 games to 0.26 since Feb. 9.
Overall, Anisimov has 19 goals and 19 assists in 74 games this season. He's three back of his career-high in goals (22 in 2013-14) and six back of his career-high in points (44 in 2010-11).
Hopefully, this will give Anisimov a chance to get right before the playoffs. One of the biggest things you could point to about the 2015-16 Hawks for optimism was the fact that Anisimov gave them another big, talented center behind Jonathan Toews. When Ani is been playing well, the impact is noticeable, but he's disappeared at times lately. Maybe a little rest will help shake that off.