Blackhawks

Artem Anisimov and Nick Schmaltz out for Blackhawks' Friday-night bout with Islanders

Artem Anisimov and Nick Schmaltz out for Blackhawks' Friday-night bout with Islanders

The Blackhawks have had a lot of stability on their lines the last few weeks. That familiarity will be disrupted by injury and illness on Friday night.

Artem Anisimov is out Friday, and the same is likely true for Nick Schmaltz when the Blackhawks host the New York Islanders at the United Center. Anisimov (lower body), who left Wednesday's game early in the second period, skated on Friday morning but was deemed not ready for tonight. Schmaltz, who is sick, did not skate. Coach Joel Quenneville said both could play against the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

Tanner Kero will probably get the first opportunity to center Artemi Panarin and Patrick Kane. Corey Crawford will start tonight but Scott Darling will not back him up (upper-body injury). Jeff Glass was recalled from Rockford and will serve as Crawford's backup tonight. Look for Ryan Hartman to go onto the top line, where he's played with Jonathan Toews and Richard Panik previously this season.

"That line's been doing some really good things with Schmaltzy. If he can't go, I'm looking forward to playing with those two guys," Hartman said. "They're hot right now and hopefully we can keep things going."

This is the second time in as many games the Blackhawks' opponent will be on a back-to-back. The Islanders beat the Dallas Stars 5-4 on Thursday night.

Johnny Oduya skated on Friday but, again, he's not expected to play until March 9. Quenneville is hoping the same scenario for Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body), who hasn't started skating yet but could in the next few days.

Friday's projected lines and defensive pairings:

Blackhawks

Forward lines

Ryan Hartman, Jonathan Toews, Richard Panik
​Artemi Panarin, Tanner Kero, Patrick Kane
Tomas Jurco, Marcus Kruger, Marian Hossa
Andrew Desjardins, Dennis Rasmussen, Jordin Tootoo

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith and Trevor van Riemsdyk
Michal Kempny and Brent Seabrook
Brian Campbell and Michal Rozsival

Goaltender

Corey Crawford

Injuries and illnesses: Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body), Artem Anisimov (lower body), Nick Schmaltz (ill)

Islanders

Forward lines

Anders Lee, John Tavares, Josh Bailey
Andrew Ladd, Brock Nelson, Josh Ho-Sang
Shane Prince, Ryan Strome, Jason Chimera
​Nikolay Kulemin, Stephen Gionta, Cal Clutterbuck

Defensive pairs

Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk
Thomas Hickey and Scott Mayfield
Calvin de Haan and Dennis Seidenberg

Goaltender

Jean-Francois Berube

Injuries and illnesses: Mikhail Grabovski (concussion), Travis Hamonic (knee), Casey Cizikas (hand)

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: How should Blackhawks handle Kirby Dach's future?

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USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: How should Blackhawks handle Kirby Dach's future?

Should Kirby Dach see more ice time? What should the Blackhawks do with Erik Gustafsson? Has Robin Lehner separated himself in the goalie tandem?

Patrick Sharp and Charlie Roumeliotis join Pat Boyle to discuss that and much more on the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast. Plus, you'll hear Robin Lehner's postgame comments after the loss to the Golden Knights and why he thinks the Blackhawks are "really close" to putting it all together.

1:08 - Blackhawks come up with best defensive effort of the season

2:52 - Changes made to the power play units

4:14 - Evaluating Erik Gustafsson's play so far

6:04 - Who fills in after the Connor Murphy injury

7:49 - Patrick Sharp remembers Patrick Kane rookie season

9:08 - What does the future hold for Kirby Dach?

12:04 - Struggles of the Blackhawks' top-six

14:44 - Another strong performance by Robin Lehner

16:33 - Lehner's strong post-game comments after Vegas loss

20:07 - How to handle the goalie-split going forward

23:25 - Biggest thing the Blackhawks need to improve upon

Listen to the entire episode here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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Blackhawks expected to be without Connor Murphy (groin injury) for 'a couple weeks'

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AP

Blackhawks expected to be without Connor Murphy (groin injury) for 'a couple weeks'

The Blackhawks are expected to be without defenseman Connor Murphy for "a couple weeks" after he left in the second period of Tuesday's 2-1 shootout loss to the Vegas Golden Knights because of a groin injury, coach Jeremy Colliton confirmed after the game.

It's the same injury that sidelined Murphy for the season opener in Prague, which is unfortunate given his promotion to the top pairing with Duncan Keith has provided some stability on all three pairings. 

"Obviously that's a blow for us," Colliton said. "It's an opportunity for other guys. We think we need to continue to build depth. That's what we're going to need. We can't just play with six D or seven D all year. You're going to need more than that. That'll be an opportunity for other guys to grow."

Slater Koekkoek is serving as the seventh defenseman right now and he's the likely candidate to slide into Murphy's spot in the lineup. But the Blackhawks might be inclined to make a call-up from Rockford as insurance.

Dennis Gilbert started the season with the Blackhawks because Murphy and Calvin de Haan were not cleared to play overseas, so he's a potential candidate to be brought back up.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.