Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko (35) makes the save on Vegas Golden Knights’ William Carrier (28) during third period NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff action in Edmonton on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Demko’s stellar 43-save effort lifts Canucks past Golden Knights 2-1

Netminder keeps Vancouver alive in NHL playoff series with Vegas

Thatcher Demko made 43 saves in his first ever NHL playoff start, and the Vancouver Canucks kept their season alive with a 2-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday in Edmonton.

Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson scored for Vancouver, which cut the Golden Knights’ lead to 3-2 in the best-of-seven second-round series. Game 6 goes Thursday.

Demko got the nod after Jacob Markstrom, the Canucks’ regular starter, was deemed unable to play and didn’t dress. Demko battled a fierce Vegas attack all night long and an avalanche of shots: redirects, one-timers, odd-man rushes and goalmouth scrambles.

Pettersson broke a 1-1 tie early in the third period for the winner, redirecting a Boeser wrist shot from the blue-line past Vegas goalie Robin Lehner. It’s his seventh goal of the playoffs.

Shea Theodore, with his fifth goal of the playoffs, replied for Vegas while Lehner made 16 saves in the loss and is now 7-3 in the post-season.

The Golden Knights were outshooting Vancouver 24-7 late in the second period when Theodore broke the ice, dipsy-doodling around two Canucks, walking into the slot untouched and firing a shot high glove-side and in.

Vancouver responded just 24 seconds later. Boeser, playing give-and-go with J.T. Miller on a 2-on-1, redirected a Miller pass on the backhand past Lehner. It was just the Canucks’ eighth shot on net.

The goal was no doubt sweet relief for Boeser. He had been facing criticism as a top-six forward getting top-six minutes but, heading into Tuesday, racking up only 20 shots on net and three goals in the post-season.

It was Demko’s first start in almost six months. His last start was March 10, two days before the NHL’s regular season was halted, and ultimately cancelled, due to COVID-19.

Prior to Tuesday, the 24-year-old had seen 8:26 of playoff action in 2020, mopping up for Markstrom in the third period of a 5-0 Vegas blowout in Game 1.

Drafted by Vancouver in the second round in 2014, Demko served as the backup to Markstrom in the regular season, making 25 starts and compiling a 13-10-2 record (3.06 goals-against average, .905 save percentage).

READ MORE: Pacioretty nets 2 as Vegas rallies to dump Vancouver 5-3

Markstrom, in his first NHL playoffs, has been the workhorse for Vancouver, starting 14 games in 29 days, with an 8-6 record, stopping 451 shots (2.85 GAA, .919 save percentage) and recording his first playoff shutout by beating the Minnesota Wild 3-0.

He has often kept Vancouver in games, facing more than 30 shots a night. In 15 playoff games, the Canucks have been outshot by their opponent 13 times (they registered more shots twice in the Minnesota series).

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CanuckshockeyNHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC VOTES 2020: Provincial election will have familiar duo battling in Cariboo North

The two candidates who received the most votes in 2017 will both be running in Cariboo North again

Second positive COVID-19 test reported at Quesnel Junior School

The exposure dates for this case are Sept. 15-18

Open burning prohibitions to be rescinded Sept. 30

The following activities will be allowed throughout the CFC’s jurisdiction:

Sweeping changes to curling during COVID-19 pandemic

Registration is now open for leagues at the Quesnel Curling Centre

FOREST INK: Old-growth forests under new management

On April 30, Garry Merkel and Al Gorley submitted 14 recommendations to the Province in their report

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Most Read