NEW YORK -- Getting a coach to reveal his lineup on a game day during the Stanley Cup Playoffs is akin to getting a government official to hand over top secret documents that could destroy national security.
So while Rangers coach John Tortorella didn't lay out his line combinations Wednesday morning for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils, he admitted change might be good for his slow-starting team in this dead-even series.
"We need something to happen for ourselves," Tortorella said. "We'll try different things, I'll give you that. But it's still a matter of getting it done. At least that's how I feel about it. So we'll see where it goes."
Brandon Prust will definitely return to the lineup after his one-game suspension and replace Stu Bickel, who is likely to return to his spot on the blue line and send Steve Eminger back to the press box. There's also the potential for the return of forward Brandon Dubinsky, who hasn't played since Game 7 of the conference quarterfinals against the Ottawa Senators.
Dubinsky suffered a lower-body injury that cost him the entire second-round series with the Washington Capitals, but he has practiced four of the past five days. He also exited Wednesday's optional morning skate early while forward John Mitchell remained on the ice with the healthy scratches, a sign Tortorella is going to swap the pair.
Dubinsky had just one assist in seven games against the Senators, but he could help in the faceoff circle. During the regular season, he won 51.9 percent of his draws. During the postseason, the Rangers have won 48 percent of faceoffs, 15th out of 16th teams -- only the Devils have won fewer faceoffs.
Here's a best guess at the Rangers' lineup for Game 5 against the Devils:
The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.
— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres