The Chicago Blackhawks medical staff will be evaluating Artemi Panarin’s and Artem Anisimov’s injuries.
Panarin has an upper-body injury and is questionable for Friday’s home game against the New York Islanders. It’s unknown when Panarin suffered the injury. The 25-year-old Russian star has 19 goals and 56 points this season, but hasn’t found the back of the net since Feb. 10 at Winnipeg.
Anisimov, 28, suffered a lower-body injury in Chicago’s 4-1 win over Pittsburgh. The injury forced Anisimov to leave the game in the first period. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said the injury is “likely not serious.” Anisimov has 22 goals with 21 assists in 58 games this season. His 22 goals match a career-high from his 2013-14 season with Columbus while his point production is two shy of breaking his career-high set in 2010-11 with the New York Rangers.
Who is the new No. 2 center?
Rookie Nick Schmaltz, who did not participate in Thursday’s practice due to an illness that wasn’t the mumps, is expected to play and fill in at the second-line center role. Schmaltz did play center in Wednesday’s win and helped set up two of Patrick Kane’s three goals. The 6-foot, 177-pounder has 19 points (six goals, 13 assists) in 44 games this season.
Corey Crawford will start in net against the Islanders after backup Scott Darling picked up two straight wins. Crawford missed two games due to an illness. The 32-year-old netminder made 28 saves in his last outing, a 6-3 home win over Arizona on Feb. 23. He’s 24-13-3 with a 2.58 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 40 games this season.