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2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Game 4 Preview: Do or Die

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A literal must-win game for the Columbus Blue Jackets

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Pittsburgh Penguins at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

As the Blue Jackets enter this game on the brink of elimination, let me offer some words of encouragement from the poet William Ernest Henley (with some minor alterations::

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pitt from goal to goal,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets - Game Three Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

All series long, the Blue Jackets have made their presence felt in the first period. Only in Game 3 did that result in a lead. The second period has been rough, so that will be something to overcome. Another factor is limiting mistakes, as the Penguins have proved adept at capitalizing on each one.

Matt Calvert returns to the lineup after serving a one game suspension for an unnecessary cheap shot. Zach Werenski will miss the remainder of the season - however long that is - with facial fractures. We finally get our wish of Markus Nutivaara and Kyle Quincey in the lineup, but not like this. NOT LIKE THIS.

I will be in attendance and I want to see one more win in person. Is that too much to ask? I hope to see some of you at the cannon during the second intermission.

Big lineup changes announced this morning:

We’re adding youth and we’re adding fresh legs (important after a grueling OT game Sunday night). I’m a huge Nuti fan so I’m pleased to see him back in. Quincey provides valuable playoff experience. Hartnell has been invisible this series, so Sedlak could add some spark in the bottom half of the lineup.

There’s nothing to lose by making these changes, right?

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
Brandon Saad Alexander Wennberg Nick Foligno
Boone Jenner Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Sam Gagner Lukas Sedlak BJORKSTRAND
Matt Calvert Lars Karlsson Josh Anderson
Gabriel Carlsson? Seth Jones
Jack Johnson David Savard
Markus Nutivaara Kyle Quincey
Sergei Bobrovsky
Joonas Korpisalo
Pittsburgh Penguins
Jake Guentzel Sidney Crosby Conor Sheary
Phil Kessel Evgeni Malkin Bryan Rust
Scott Wilson Nick Bonino Patric Hornqvist
Tom Kuhnhackl Matt Cullen Carter Rowney
Ian Cole Justin Schultz
Trevor Daley Olli Maata
Brian Dumoulin Ron Hainsey
Marc-Andre Fleury
Tristan Jarry