Lineup changes have arrived for the Flames according to Kristen Odland, as the team will attempt to ward off elimination. Matt Stajan and Lance Bouma have both been told to take the night off, as Curtis Lazar and Freddie Hamilton find their way back to the ice. Hamilton had 2 goals and 0 assists in his 26 regular season games, and Lazar had 1 goal and 3 assists in his 37 games played. Neither is obviously expected to provide stellar offense, but instead to spark energy and infuse youth into a lineup which looked gassed in their Game 3 three-goal lead implosion. Lazar had been held pointless in 6 games while dressed for the Senators in the playoffs two seasons ago, though he was fantastic for the Oil Kings in their Memorial Cup run the year prior. This will be Hamilton’s first playoff experience.
- Blackhawks’ Johnny Oduya has been yanked from the lineup by coach Joel Quenneville for a potentially deciding Game 4. Michal Kempny is expected to take his place. The 26 year-old Czech defenseman had a phenomenally underappreciated season, posting an absurd 56.1% Corsi For. The left-handed shooting defenseman has never played in a playoff game. He had gone unsigned until May of last year, when he was acquired by the organization for depth. He ended up playing 50 games for the Hawks, despite marginal offensive totals. Oduya’s veteran status makes this a surprising move, although his lack of speed and age were starting to show in a series where the Predators’ forecheck was relentless.
- Erik Haula will not play for the Minnesota Wild tonight in their game against the Blues. Haula was held pointless and registered a -2 through 3 games. Coach Bruce Boudreau did not confirm who would take his spot, as he had been playing on the top unit with Mikko Koivu. This is a surprising move despite his struggles in the series, as the forward had been producing at a decent clip before running into the red-hot Jake Allen. There has been no word as to who will replace his position on the left wing.