Lukas Reichel — still without a goal on the season — moves up to the Chicago Blackhawks’ 1st power play

The Chicago Blackhawks power play has been struggling and Lukas Reichel has a season-long goal drought, so maybe the Hawks can kill two birds with one stone.

Reichel played with the first unit during practice Wednesday at Fifth Third Arena, and perhaps his promotion from the second unit can bring a spark to a power play that ranks fifth from the bottom of the NHL (10.9%).

“It’s nice to have the trust,” Reichel said. “It’s always nice to play power play, and especially the first power play, so can’t wait.”

Reichel played in the bumper role, manning the middle while Connor Bedard and Taylor Hall played on the flanks, Corey Perry played net front and Seth Jones ran the point.

Philipp Kurashev (wing) and Nick Foligno (net front) shifted to the second unit, which included Tyler Johnson (wing), Taylor Raddysh (bumper) and Kevin Korchinski (point).

However, coach Luke Richardson ruled out Hall for Thursday’s home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“He’s going to need a little more work,” Richardson said of Hall, who sat out Sunday’s game against the Florida Panthers after leaving with an apparent leg injury Thursday at Tampa Bay.

Whatever the game-time alignment will be, the Hawks will try Reichel at the first-unit bumper spot.

“He’s quick with his speed and it’ll give him some opportunities to shoot some pucks,” Richardson said. “But also we need more help in that middle spot where we have a hard time getting set up when teams pressure so hard off faceoffs and entries.”

In fact, the Hawks power play spends 56.3% of its time in the offensive zone, according to NHL statistics, which is below the league average (59%).

“Him getting side to side will be a good spot for him,” Richardson added of Reichel. “It might take him a little bit (of time) getting used to (knowing) where his quick outs are, but I think he’ll get there quick and that’s going to help us hopefully settle down and have more O-zone time on the power play.”

Reichel welcomes the change.

“The thing is, as a bumper, you’ve got to get open, help your teammates out if they’re in trouble and you’ve got to know where the other team is,” he said. “If they’re three high, you go low and … you just skate around it and try to get open.”

Reichel started working with skills coach Brian Keane on using his body more in corner battles and when he has the puck, and that can help him on the power play too.

“I know (when) I get the puck, give him a little bump and then protect the puck,” Reichel said. “That’s where you’ve got to work on (it). You have that in every game, so that helped me out a lot.”

With Andreas Athanasiou (lower body) on the shelf indefinitely, the Hawks don’t have many options in the middle beyond Reichel.

Arguably, it was time to shake things up anyway. The Hawks’ 46 power-play opportunities rank 26th in the league, but their 48 shots rank last.

Reichel said the power-play units should get back to how they played during the preseason, “moving the puck quick and getting quick shots, and then other plays will open up.”

Reichel has taken eight shots on goal on the power play, all of which have gone through. Overall he ranks fifth on the team with 24 shots in 13 games, but none has found the net.

“Of course every forward wants to score goals,” he said, “but I just try to stay positive and play to win every game.”