Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko (35) and teammates celebrate the win over the Vegas Golden Knights during NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff action in Edmonton on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Stayin’ alive: Demko makes 48 saves as Canucks force Game 7 with 4-0 win over Vegas

NHL playoff series tied 3-3; deciding game Friday night

Thatcher Demko stopped all 48 shots he faced for his first-ever post-season shutout to lead the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-0 win over the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night in Edmonton and force Game 7 in their NHL playoff series.

Jake Virtanen, J.T. Miller, Quinn Hughes, and Bo Horvat scored for Vancouver, which tied the best-of-seven series 3-3. Game 7 goes Friday night at Rogers Place.

Robin Lehner made 19 saves for Vegas and is now 7-4 in the 2020 post-season.

It was the second playoff start for Demko and the second consecutive game he turned back a barrage of shots to preserve a slim victory.

The 24-year-old, in his first full season in the NHL, turned aside 42 shots in a 2-1 win in Game 5.

Thursday was the first time the Golden Knights, the top Western Conference seed, have been shut out in the return to play tournament.

Virtanen opened the scoring less than three minutes into the game. He jumped on a loose puck behind the Vegas net and wrapped it around past Lehner.

The Canucks went up 2-0 just over a minute into the third period. Miller wheeled around in the right face-off circle and fired the puck far side past Lehner. It was his first goal of the series. He has six goals in the post-season. Hughes got the assist, his 14th of the playoffs.

Hughes then got his second goal of the post-season, firing a slapshot from the point past a screened Lehner. Miller got the assist, his 12th of the playoffs.

Horvat scored into an empty net for his playoff-leading 10th goal.

The Canucks have not been in the playoffs since 2015 and this will be their first Game 7 since losing to the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup final in 2011.

The Golden Knights were dispatched in seven games by the San Jose Sharks in the first round last spring.

Demko is playing in place of the regular starter Jacob Markstrom, who was deemed unfit to play. The NHL is not releasing injury details.

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

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

Demko’s last start before the post-season was March 10, two days before the NHL’s regular season was halted, and later cancelled, due to COVID-19.

All Western Conference games are being played without spectators at Rogers Place. The final-four series and Stanley Cup final will also be played in Edmonton.

The players are isolating between games.

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

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

Surrey school district proposing 13 new schools in the next decade

Staff suggest new designs for future builds to maximize school space

Delta McDonald’s temporarily closed after employees test positive for COVID-19

Two employees at the Annacis Island location (1285 Cliveden Ave.) reported testing positive on Sept. 18

Two Surrey schools report COVID-19 exposures, including second contact for Panorama Ridge

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Surrey school district student enrolment down from projections

‘That’s not something I can say in my time in Surrey, I have ever said at the board table’: superintendent

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read