By Chris Emma–
CHICAGO (CBS) — Early in the first period Tuesday at the United Center, the Blackhawks honored Coyotes center Antoine Vermette, a key figure in Chicago’s Stanley Cup run of 2015. In the second period, Vermette was issued a game misconduct for a dangerous hit on Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov.READ MORE: Mother Has Questions After Police Shoot, Kill Man They Say Was Wielding Knife In Englewood
Following the ensuing scrum, Anisimov was greeted with medical assistance on the ice and taken straight to the dressing room, not returning to the 6-2 win over the Coyotes with what Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said was an upper-body injury that would leave Anisimov “day-to-day.” The team expects to know more Wednesday.
Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk believed that there was no vicious intent behind the hit from his former teammate. Captain Jonathan Toews felt that the hit was avoidable.
“I just saw that (Anisimov) was cutting back,” Toews said. “I do believe that it could’ve been avoided — if a guy is still in a vulnerable position. But I’d still have to take a look to comment on it fully.”READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Rain Coming As Work Week Begins
Anisimov has 42 points — 20 goals and 22 assists — in 76 games of his first season with the Blackhawks. He has anchored the second line as the team’s long-coveted center, joining Hart Trophy front-runner Patrick Kane and Calder Trophy favorite Artemi Panarin. With Anisimov out, Teuvo Teravainen took over as second-line center.
Arizona was issued a five-minute major for Vermette’s hit, and Chicago tallied two power-play goals during the extended man advantage.
The Blackhawks have recently dealt with injury issues with just a week remaining before the postseason. However, Corey Crawford, Andrew Shaw and Marian Hossa were each in attendance for Tuesday’s contest and expect to return before the first round begins. Forward Andrew Desjardins was deemed OK after taking a puck to the head during the third period of Tuesday’s game.
Quenneville will offer further updates as they’re made available during this final week of the regular season.MORE NEWS: Farmers Market Vendors Pleased As Open Boulevards Program Kicks Off In Logan Square