Canucks make change to first power play unit ahead of Game 3

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The Vancouver Canucks are looking for a spark with their top power play unit.

The team has not converted on any of its six power plays in the first two games of the first-round series against the Nashville Predators.

Head coach Rick Tocchet made a change at today’s practice, having Elias Lindholm replace Conor Garland on the top unit.

Elias Petterson, Quinn Hughes, J.T. Miller, and Brock Boeser all kept their spots. Near the end of practice, Boeser left after getting hit by a shot. Garland then came back to the first unit in his place for a few final drills.

If Boeser is healthy enough to play tomorrow — with no signs that pointing to the contrary at the moment — then it looks like Garland will be demoted to the second unit in favour of Lindholm.

“He’s good at tipping pucks,” said coach Rick Tocchet when asked what he likes about Lindholm on the top unit. “He’s good on the draws, and I felt in the last week he’s starting to shoot the puck better as well, so I think we just want to make that switch.”

While Lindholm only has three power-play goals this season, he’s just two years removed from back-to-back seasons with double-digit power-play goals. He also scored the team’s first goal of the playoffs in Game 1.

The Canucks power play has been struggling for long stretches in the second half of the season. It was one of the worst in the league in February and has fallen well short of expectations considering the high-end offensive talent the Canucks have.

Game 3 starts Friday at 4:30 pm PT. It’ll be a huge battle as the two teams are currently tied at one game each.