The Columbus Blue Jackets made four changes to the team's lineup for Game 4 and they paid off as the team took a 5-4 victory to send their Stanley Cup Playoffs series back to Pittsburgh.
This time around, there will be no changes in tonight's Game 5.
Head coach John Tortorella told the media this afternoon he'll go with the same lineup as Columbus, down 3-1, tries to return the series to Ohio with a win.
Two of the changes last game were easy ones, as Matt Calvert returned to action from his Game 3 suspension and the Jackets had to insert a defenseman after the gruesome injury to Zach Werenski.
But Tortorella also pushed some buttons, choosing to swap out the struggling Scott Hartnell for the now-healthy Lukas Sedlak and also sitting Scott Harrington on the blue line to put in both Kyle Quincey and Markus Nutivaara. The moves worked as Quincey provided defensive grit in more than 20 minutes of action with Seth Jones, Nutivaara had a goal and an assist, and Calvert was part of a line responsible for a trio of goals.
"It was good to get Calvy back in the lineup after being suspended," Tortorella said. "He's a big part of a lot of different things we do with the team. The two defensemen I thought came in and played really well. You're in your fourth game, I think you get some fresh legs. I thought Nuti gave us some offense. I thought Q gave us some jam and a little bit of experience in the back end. And Sedsy is a guy, I think he had a really good year for us, played really well in the (AHL playoffs) last year, went through the four rounds, and allows me to do a lot of different things with my lines. Good penalty killer, good faceoff guy, and that showed in the game. So they were good additions for us."
Game 5 will be the second do-or-die contest for the Blue Jackets in the series, and Tortorella said Columbus will stick to its one game at a time mantra. Other than that, he expects his team to be ready to go come the 7 p.m. puck drop.
"We're good," he said. "We're ready to play."