The Chicago Blackhawks will face one of their toughest tests of the season on Sunday night as they welcome Central Division rival Minnesota to the United Center, and fortunately for the team, they will have one of their key veterans in the lineup.
That veteran is center Artem Anisimov, who missed Saturday’s practice with an illness. At Sunday’s morning skate, head coach Joel Quenneville said that although Anisimov was still somewhat under the weather, he will be good to go against the Wild.
Quenneville also said that he will bring in a few of his youngest players as the team looks to compete with the red-hot Minnesota squad. Nick Schmaltz, who was brought back up from Rockford on Saturday, will play for the Blackhawks as a center, according to the coach.
Michal Kempny will slot back into the lineup as well, after being a healthy scratch in Friday’s 6-0 drubbing at the hands of the Washington Capitals.
Michal Rozsival will also play again, meaning that Brian Campbell will likely sit out Sunday’s game as the Blackhawks try to keep all of their defensemen sharp.
Sunday’s game has big implications for the top of the Central Division race, as the Wild and Blackhawks are tied for the top spot. Minnesota has played four fewer games than Chicago, and they are red-hot coming into the contest as they have been on a 16-1-1 tear over their last 18 games.