Zack Smith will miss at least three games for the Blackhawks while being out seven to 10 days with a left hand injury.
The forward sustained the injury when he cut his hand on Canucks forward Elias Pettersson’s skate blade after being checked from behind by forward Tyler Myers late in the second period. Smith skated off the ice holding his hand and did not return to the game.
Smith, who has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 50 games in his first season with the Blackhawks since he was acquired for forward Artem Anisimov in July 16, has primarily played a fourth-line role. He could return as soon as Friday, Feb. 21 against the Predators in Chicago.
With Smith out, Matthew Highmore will draw back into the lineup. Highmore, who turns 24 on Feb. 27, has three points (one goal, two assists) in 23 NHL games and 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 21 games with the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL in his third professional season since signing as an undrafted free agent.
The Blackhawks (25-24-8), who have lost five straight (0-3-2), continue their five-game Western Canada road trip Saturday when they visit the Flames (30-23-6) in Calgary.