Podkolzin sits as Canucks insert two new players into lineup for Game 7

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The Vancouver Canucks are making some lineup changes ahead of a critical Game 7 against the Edmonton Oilers.

Sam Lafferty and Ilya Mikheyev will both be back in tonight after sitting out Game 6.

While one of the changes is forced due to Brock Boeser being ruled out with an injury, Rick Tocchet is also taking young winger Vasily Podkolzin out of the lineup. The Russian played fewer than eight minutes in Game 6.

Lafferty and Mikheyev have combined for zero points across 10 games each in the postseason thus far.

“Obviously it’s tough to replace his goalscoring,” started Tocchet about Boeser’s absence. “But you know we’ve got some, Mikheyev or Lafferty, those guys are going to have to supply us with good defence, but also, can they chip in a goal, play a hard game for us?

“We’re looking at two guys coming in, hopefully give us some really good juice.”

The team is looking for a much better performance than they managed in Game 6 which ended as a 5-1 Oilers win.

All the focus now moves to the do-or-die Game 7. Tocchet has been through many of these moments over his long career as a player and coach. He’s looking for depth pieces, like the ones newly inserted into the lineup, to step up tonight.

“It’s the role players man. It’s the guys, they’re good players, they come from nowhere and they do something,” said Tocchet today.

Arturs Silovs will get his 10th consecutive start for the Canucks in net. He had perhaps his worst performance of the playoffs last game and will be looking for a bounceback effort.

Tonight’s crucial game has an early puck drop as things will get started at 6 pm PT.