Blackhawks

Artem Anisimov in, Nick Schmaltz out when Blackhawks face Predators

Artem Anisimov in, Nick Schmaltz out when Blackhawks face Predators

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Artem Anisimov will play but Nick Schmaltz will not when the Blackhawks face the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

Anisimov returns after missing Friday night’s game with a lower-body injury. Schmaltz made the trip to Nashville with the team but is still fighting an illness. Coach Joel Quenneville expects Schmaltz to be ready following the team’s four-day break.

Corey Crawford gets the start tonight. With Scott Darling sidelined for three weeks, it’s likely Crawford plays in every game until Darling’s return, much like Darling did when Crawford was sidelined after an appendectomy. But Quenneville wouldn’t completely rule out some playing time for Jeff Glass, who was called up from Rockford on Friday.

“We’ll see how things are, how [Crawford’s] workload is and how he’s handling it,” Quenneville said. “Sometimes there are reasons you may want to keep playing him, sometimes reasons why you say, ‘Let’s give him a break.’ It’s tough to forecast that. Performance is part of it as well but right now, it’s going to be [Crawford’s] turn and we’ll see for how long.”

Meanwhile, back in Chicago, Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper) and Johnny Oduya skated on Saturday. Quenneville said he didn’t know how the session went but is optimistic both return for the Blackhawks’ game against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.

Broadcast information:

Time: 7 p.m.

TV: CSN

Live stream: CSNChicago.com or NBC Sports app

Radio: WGN 720 AM

 

Chicago Blackhawks (projected)

Forward lines

Ryan Hartman -Jonathan Toews-Richard Panik

Artemi Panarin-Artem Anisimov-Patrick Kane

Tomas Jurco-Marcus Kruger-Marian Hossa

Dennis Rasmussen-Tanner Kero-Jordin Tootoo

 

Defensive pairs

Duncan Keith-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Michal Kempny-Brent Seabrook

Brian Campbell-Michal Rozsival

 

Goaltender

Corey Crawford

 

Injuries/illness: Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body), Nick Schmaltz (illness), Scott Darling (hand).

 

Nashville Predators (via The Tennessean)

Forward lines

Filip Forsberg-Ryan Johansen-Viktor Arvidsson

Kevin Fiala-Mike Fisher-Craig Smith

Colin Wilson-Calle Jarnkrok-James Neal

Cody McLeod-Vernon Fiddler-Austin Wilson

 

Defensive pairs

Roman Josi-Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm-P.K. Subban

Matt Irwin-Yannick Weber

 

Goaltender

Juuse Saros

 

Injuries/illness: Mikka Salomaki (hand).

How will the Blackhawks utilize Kirby Dach?

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Detroit Red Wings

How will the Blackhawks utilize Kirby Dach?

The Blackhawks recalled No. 3 overall pick Kirby Dach from his AHL conditioning stint on Friday night after he appeared in three games with the Rockford IceHogs. He missed the first week of training camp with a concussion and the organization wanted him to get a taste of the pro action and back up to speed after not playing in any preseason games, either.

"I enjoyed the experience there," Dach said. "I had a lot of fun. Got to see a couple buddies. It was good for me to get down there and get some pro games under my belt and just feel what the pace is going to be like. It'll be another step up here, but I feel good and I feel like I'm ready to go."

Whether Dach makes his NHL debut on Sunday against the Washington Capitals won't be revealed by head coach Jeremy Colliton until after morning skate on Sunday. But where does he fit into the lineup going forward?

The Blackhawks are 2-0-1 in their past three games and aren't necessarily looking to shake up their rotation, even though they're still searching for consistency on all four lines.

The easy answer is for Dach to slide into a third-line center role behind Jonathan Toews and Dylan Strome, but the trio of David Kampf, Dominik Kubalik and Brandon Saad has undoubtedly been the most consistent for the Blackhawks this season. And we saw in the home opener what happened when they were separated. 

The Blackhawks held an optional practice on Saturday morning and didn't run through line rushes, but before Dach was assigned to Rockford, he took several spins on the first line with Toews and alternated with Drake Caggiula and Alex DeBrincat. It's possible Dach starts on the wing, where he can play top-six minutes and not have as much responsibility as a center would.

"I've played wing in previous years, so it's not something that's new to me," Dach said. "At the same time I'm open-minded to just getting into the lineup and helping the team win."

The Blackhawks can give Dach up to nine NHL games before deciding whether they want to burn the first year of his entry-level contract or send him back to the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL.

"As a kid you always grow up dreaming of playing in the NHL, so there'll be nerves," Dach said. "But there will also be a lot of excitement. I've just got to do my best to focus on my game and be ready to play whenever my name's called upon by the coaching staff."

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Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks scratch out a win and Kirby Dach recalled

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USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks scratch out a win and Kirby Dach recalled

Pat Boyle and Charlie Roumeliotis welcome Nick Gismondi into the fold before discussing Friday's win over Columbus. Robin Lehner played stellar and is forming quite a tandem in net with Corey Crawford (4:10), while the DeBrincat/Kane connection is alive and well (6:10), and the Blackhawks' struggles at even strength continued (12:10). Then, the guys react to the breaking news of Kirby Dach's recall from Rockford and discuss where he might fit into this lineup (15:10).

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

Blackhawks Talk Podcast

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