Blackhawks change on fly as Anisimov boards plane to Montreal
Chicago Blackhawks forward Artem Anisimov initially wasn't going to play in Thursday's road game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Heck, Anisimov didn't even board the plane with his teammates as an illness was expected to sideline him for the second straight contest. Plans changed rather quickly on Thursday, however, as the 27-year-old Russian found himself en route to the Bell Centre shortly after defenseman Erik Gustafsson exited the morning skate with a lingering lower-body injury.
Here's Coach Q on the Erik Gustafsson and Artem Anisimov injury news. https://t.co/ulZAfI3JSy— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) January 14, 2016
Coach Joel Quenneville told reporters that Gustafsson shouldn't be sidelined for long. Via Chicago Sun-Times:
"(Gustafsson's) not too bad, but he's out tonight. Day-to-day."
Anisimov had an assist for his fifth point in seven contests in Chicago's 6-3 win over the Central Division-rival Colorado Avalanche on Sunday. His 15 goals are tied with rookie Artemi Panarin for third on the team, one shy of captain Jonathan Toews and 10 in back of leader Patrick Kane.
Gustafsson out tonight. Lower body. Didn't finish skate. Anisimov flying in, will play tonight. #Blackhawks— Tracey Myers (@TramyersCSN) January 14, 2016
Anisimov, who also set up nine tallies this season, has 101 goals and 115 assists in 456 career contests with the New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Blackhawks.
Chicago, which has won a season-high eight in a row, begins a stretch of playing nine of its next 11 contests on the road. The Blackhawks, however, will meet Montreal once again on Sunday when the teams play at the United Center.