Anisimov scored a power-play goal in Tuesday's 3-1 win at Montreal. Anisimov finally got on the board in Chicago's fourth game of the season. Just four of his 22 goals last year came with the extra man, so it was nice to see the 29-year-old Russian pot one in that situation here. Much of Anisimov's value will be tied to his ability to hold down a spot alongside Patrick Kane at even strength.
Anisimov was "still a little limited" by the lower-body injury that had kept him out for the final 13 games of the regular season, per coach Joel Quenneville, but there are no immediate plans for offseason surgery to any of Chicago's players, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. At the moment, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman is fuming over his team getting swept by the Predators in the first playoff round. Anisimov was held without a point and skated to a minus-2 rating in the series, though he managed six shots, four hits and four blocked shots between those four games. Still, this doesn't at all sound like the type of injury that could carry over to the 2017-18 campaign.
Anisimov (leg) returned to practice Tuesday and will be ready for Game 1 against the Predators, Brian Hedger of NHL.com reports. Anisimov was able to practice for the first time since suffering a left leg injury on March 14, forcing him out of the final 13 regular-season contests. He is expected to return to his regular spot in between Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin. Due to his important role on the power-play unit and the Blackhawks' positive outlook, Anisimov makes a nice addition for fantasy owners in postseason pools.
Coach Joel Quenneville told reporters Saturday he "has no doubt" that Anisimov will be ready for the playoffs, Eric Lear of Blackhawks TV reports. Anisimov will return to his role centering the dangerous duo of Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin on the Blackhawks' second line for Game 1 of the playoffs. The Russian pivot has been a solid contributor for Chicago in that role this season, notching 45 points (22 goals, 23 assists) in 64 games. Tanner Kero, who has been centering Kane and Panarin in Anisimov's absence, will likely move into a bottom-six role for Game 1.
Anisimov (lower body) has resumed skating, but he likely won't return to the lineup for any of the Blackhawks' final three regular-season games, Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The Blackhawks have secured the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, so there's no need to for them to rush Anisimov back for essentially meaningless contests. At this juncture, it's unclear whether the Russian pivot will be ready for Game 1 of the postseason, but Chicago should release another update on his status once he's able to return to practice.
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