Vancouver Canucks win Game 5 to extend season – NEWS 1130


EDMONTON – The Vancouver Canucks kept their season alive with a 2-1 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday as Thatcher Demko made 42 saves in his first-ever NHL playoff start.Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson scored for Vancouver, reducing the Golden Knights’ lead to 3-2 in the best of seven second-round games. Game 6 takes place on Thursday.

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Demko got the nod after Jacob Markstrom, the Canucks regular starter, was deemed unable to play and did not dress. Demko battled a fierce Vegas attack all night and an avalanche of gunfire: redirects, one-timers, bizarre rushes and jostling in the mouth of the goal.

Pettersson broke a 1-1 draw early in the third period for the winner, redirecting a Boeser wrist shot from the blue line past Vegas goalie Robin Lehner. This is 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 postseason.

The Golden Knights passed Vancouver 24-7 at the end of the second period when Theodore broke the ice, scribbling around two Canucks, walking into the lunge untouched and pulling high on the glove side and in.

Vancouver responded barely 24 seconds later. Boeser, playing with JT Miller on a 2-on-1, redirected a Miller pass backhand past Lehner. It was only the Canucks’ eighth shot on goal.

The goal was no doubt a sweet relief for Boeser. He had been criticized as one of the top six forwards by getting the first six minutes, but before Tuesday he had only accumulated 20 shots on goal and three postseason goals.

It was Demko’s first departure in nearly six months. His last start was on March 10, two days before the NHL regular season was cut short and ultimately canceled due to COVID-19.

Prior to Tuesday, the 24-year-old had seen 8:26 of playoff action in 2020, cleaning 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 Markstrom’s regular season replacement, making 25 starts and posting a 13-10-2 record (3.06 goals-against average, .905 save percentage. ).

Markstrom, in his first NHL playoffs, was Vancouver’s hobbyhorse, starting 14 games in 29 days, going 8-6, stopping 451 shots (2.85 GAA, save percentage of, 919) and registering his first playoff shutout by beating the Minnesota Wild 3-0.

He often kept Vancouver in games, facing over 30 shots a night. In 15 playoff games, the Canucks have been beaten by their opponent 13 times (they’ve recorded more shots twice in the Minnesota series).


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