AP NEWS

Wennberg back for Blue Jackets in Game 5 against Capitals

April 21, 2018
Columbus Blue Jackets center Alexander Wennberg (10) celebrates his goal with left wing Thomas Vanek (26) during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series against the Washington Capitals, Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Columbus Blue Jackets center Alexander Wennberg (10) celebrates his goal with left wing Thomas Vanek (26) during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL first-round hockey playoff series against the Washington Capitals, Thursday, April 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alexander Wennberg will return to the Columbus Blue Jackets’ lineup for Game 5 at the Washington Capitals.

Coach John Tortorella confirmed his return about an hour before puck drop on Saturday. Wennberg was back after missing Games 2, 3 and 4 after a hit to the head from Washington’s Tom Wilson. Tortorella says Wennberg replaces Sonny Milano in the lineup.

Wennberg, the Blue Jackets’ second-line center, had developed chemistry with Boone Jenner and Thomas Vanek before being injured. His return restores Columbus’ depth down the middle and helps on the power play.

Capitals coach Barry Trotz said if Wennberg was back in it would help the Blue Jackets but expressed confidence in his four centers — Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom, Lars Eller and Jay Beagle — to match up with any opposing line.

The teams are tied at 2-all in the series. Game 6 is Monday night in Columbus.

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