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

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

Volunteers decorate the Alberni Valley Hospice Society on Saturday, Nov. 28. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Alberni Valley Hospice Society lights up for holidays

New event is a fundraiser for society that runs Ty Watson House hospice and other programs

A sign at the entrance to Ty-Histanis asks visitors to stay out of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Nuu-chah-nulth nations on Vancouver Island hit hard by COVID-19

Eight nations dealing with positive tests, hospitalizations and death

Tseshaht Market is located on Highway 4 west of Port Alberni. (GOOGLE MAPS)
Tseshaht First Nation condemns actions of abusive customer

Customer objected to Tseshaht Market’s COVID-19 protection policy

A lightning strike destroyed a radio repeater on Porter Mountain, shutting down the Ministry of Transportation and infrastructure’s highway cam at Sutton Pass. (BC Transportation and Infrastructure photo)
Lightning strike shuts down camera on Tofino-Ucluelet highway

“One of our radio repeater sites was recently struck by lightning.”

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await Commissioner decision on COVID-19 case information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is also the minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Business groups have been advocating for years that local approvals for construction in B.C. are too long and restricted, and that B.C.’s outdates sales tax deter business investment. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents worried about COVID-19 deficit, business survey finds

Respondents support faster local approvals, value added tax

The first of two earthquakes near Alaska on the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, is shown in blue. (USGS)
No tsunami risk after two earthquakes near Alaska

Both earthquakes hit near the U.S. state on Dec. 1

Most Read