ST. PAUL, Minnesota – Scott Darling will start and Richard Panik appears to be back in the lineup when the Blackhawks face the Minnesota Wild Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center.
Artem Anisimov will miss his second consecutive game with a lower-body injury. Coach Joel Quenneville said he’s hoping Ansimov will play on Friday when the Blackhawks face the Winnipeg Jets.
Darling will make his seventh consecutive start. There is nothing new on Corey Crawford, who is still listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Quenneville said Crawford still hasn’t started skating and he doesn’t know if the goaltender will go to Winnipeg.
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Panik skated on the third line with Tomas Fleischmann and Dennis Rasmussen.
The Blackhawks will look to take this final regular-season game from the Wild, who have taken the previous four contests. The Wild currently hold the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference with 85 points; the Colorado Avalanche are three points behind them.
“They’ve got balance in their team, they’ve got some speed, they’ve got quickness and they’ve got some guys that can make plays,” Quenneville said of Minnesota. “They’ve got balance in their lines right now and they’re working hard. We’ve got the outdoor game (in February) that, it’s still hard to figure that one out. But the last time we played them it was a very competitive game, it was basically on the line throughout. We expect a tight game tonight.”
After being on the receiving end of some racist taunts while he was in the penalty box during Saturday's game against the Blackhawks, Capitals winger Devante Smith-Pelly spoke publicly about the incident.
Smith-Pelly, a 25-year-old Canadian, reacted to the fans while he was in the box, going up to them from the other side of the glass. He addressed questions from the media about the incident on Sunday.
"I just heard some chanting, some, I guess, racially charged chanting," Smith-Pelly said. "You can tell by my reaction that I got pretty upset.
"What was said this time around crossed the line."
The Capitals released a statement about the incident:
"The Washington Capitals are extremely disappointed by the intolerant behavior extended toward Devante Smith-Pelly by a select group of fans during Saturday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Capitals organization strives to be inclusive and has zero tolerance concerning any form of racism. Such behavior is unacceptable and has no place in hockey or society. As such, it is crucial to confront such appalling conduct, and the Capitals extend their appreciation to the Blackhawks organization and United Center security for swiftly removing the fans from the game."
The Blackhawks released a statement after the game with a similar tone.
Smith-Pelly said this has happened previously in his career.
"It's sad that in 2018 we're still talking about the same thing over and over," Smith-Pelly said. "It's sad that athletes like myself 30, 40 years ago were standing in the same spot saying the same thing. You'd think there'd be some sort of change or progression, but we're still working towards it I guess and we're going to keep working towards it."
The Capitals released the full interview.
Four fans at the United Center were thrown out of Saturday's Blackhawks game for taunting Washington Capitals forward Devante Smith-Pelly with racist remarks.
Midway through the third period, Smith-Pelly, who is black, was in the penalty box when fans shouted "basketball, basketball, basketball" at him, the Washington Post reported.
Here is a GIF of Smith-Pelly's interaction with the fans:
After the game, the Blackhawks released this statement:
Capitals head coach Barry Trotz also had this to say about the incident: