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Capitals Lose Enforcer, Brashear, Rangers Get Russian Giant For Game 7

Martin AverySenior Writer IApril 27, 2009

UNIONDALE, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Artem Anisimov #55 of the New York Rangers skates against the New York Islanders during their NHL preseason game on September 24, 2007 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Washington Capitals enforcer Donald Brashear will sit out Game Seven of the Capitals' first-round playoff series with the New York Rangers after knocking out Caps center Blair Betts Sunday.

The NHL suspended Brashear for six games—five for the Betts hit, and another for elbowing Washington wing Colton Orr in pregame warmups.

Betts was knocked unconscious by the hit and had to be helped from the ice. He did not return to the game and was ruled out for Game Seven with a broken eye socket bone.

The Rangers had Russian rookie Artem Anisimov skating with Fred Sjostrom and Orr in practice, and he may play in Betts' place. The 6'3" centre was the leading rookie scorer for the Hartford Wolf Pack this year and is known for his two-way play.

During the regular season, Anisimov got 37 goals and had 44 assists for 81 points, along with 51 penalty minutes in 80 games with Hartford, according to newyorkrangers.com. He ranked fifth in the AHL in points, fourth in goals, and eighth in power play goals (16).  He also tied for third in the league with eight game-winning goals.

Anisimov represented the PlanetUSA team in the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic, where he scored a goal, registered two assists, and set up the game-winner. He can handle the puck in traffic well, has decent vision, is a crafty passer, and fires a quick slap shot, according to RussianProspects.com.

He possesses all the tools to be a dominant power center, according to the ISS Scouting Report. NHL Central Scouting pegs him as a solid skater with deceptive moves.

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Brashear's suspension will carry over to the first games of next regular season if the Rangers beat them in Game 7.

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