Dale Weise’s response to being a healthy scratch seemed scripted. Zack Kassian’s revised role as a rover seemed open to interpretation. And nobody seemed to know how the fourth line will be aligned in the postseason. Welcome to the prelude to the Stanley Cup chase, where a fourth-line assignment isn’t a sentence for the struggling or those getting back into game shape. It’s for game-changers in those measured minutes to contribute momentum-changing goals, and the last three NHL champions — the Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks — can attest to that importance.

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