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game recap

Canucks top Golden Knights in Game 5 of West Second Round, extend series

Rookie Demko makes 42 saves in first NHL playoff start

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Demko's 42-save effort in Game 5

VAN@VGK, Gm5: Demko stops 42 shots in Game 5 victory

R2, Gm5: Making his first NHL playoff start, Thatcher Demko makes 42 saves to help the Canucks stave off elimination against the Golden Knights

  • 03:44 •

Thatcher Demko made 42 saves in his first Stanley Cup Playoff start, and the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 in Game 5 to extend their Western Conference Second Round series at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Tuesday.

"It's special ... it's my first time being in the playoffs," Demko said. "It's a unique circumstance (with goalie Jacob Markstrom being unfit to play), but playoffs nonetheless, and this is what I've wanted to be a part of since I was a kid, so being able to get this opportunity is super special. I want to just keep helping any way I can."

Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson scored, and J.T. Miller had two assists for the Canucks, the No. 5 seed in the West.

Shea Theodore scored, and Robin Lehner made 15 saves for the Golden Knights, the No. 1 seed.

"We just have to take a look at some video," Theodore said. "There were some mistakes that ended up in the back of our net, and those can't happen this time of year. We just kind of have to refocus and get ready for the next one."

Game 6 of the best-of-7 series is in Edmonton, the West hub city, on Thursday (9:45 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS).


[WATCH: All Canucks vs. Golden Knights Game 5 highlights]


Pettersson, who was the center on a line with Miller and Boeser in the third period, gave the Canucks a 2-1 lead on a deflection in front of Lehner at 3:19 of the third period.

Pettersson has 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in his past 14 games.

"We're been playing with each other all season, we have good chemistry, and I think it was good that we switched up the lines because the first two periods weren't good from our side," Pettersson said. "The coach made some changes, and it worked out."

Demko, a rookie, is the 15th goalie in NHL history, and second in two nights, to make his first NHL playoff start and win when his team was facing elimination. Michael Hutchinson did the same for the Colorado Avalanche in Game 5 against the Dallas Stars on Monday.

"I think at this point you rely on the work you put in," Demko said. "I've been doing my thing in practice, making sure my details were where they needed to be. It's different than a game, but everything you see in a game, you've seen at some point in practice, and you just have to rely on that."

Markstrom (8-6-0) started the first 14 postseason games for Vancouver. As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information.

Canucks coach Travis Green did not have an update on Markstrom's availability for Game 6.

"We'll see where he's at tomorrow," he said.

Lehner was back in net for Vegas after Marc-Andre Fleury made 28 saves in a 5-3 win in Game 4 on Sunday, the second of a back-to-back.

"[Demko] had a good game," Lehner said. "I thought Vancouver played a little bit better defensively to limit our odd-man rushes against them. I think they played five guys pretty tight and kept us to the outside. We had our moments where we really pushed and got some good opportunities, and [Demko] was there to save them. We just have to go to the next game, and we'll be fine."

Video: Demko, Canucks defeat Vegas to stave off elimination

Theodore went backhand to forehand down the slot before scoring on a wrist shot at 15:12 of the second period to give the Golden Knights a 1-0 lead. It was the 25th shot against Demko.

Boeser tied the game 1-1 on a deflection in the slot off a pass from Miller at 15:36.

It was Boeser's first goal of the series and fourth of the postseason.

"I know I haven't been scoring and I know I need to score goals, but I've been trying to bring my work ethic each and every game and contribute something to the team," Boeser said. "It was nice to get one, it'll definitely help the confidence."

Defenseman Quinn Hughes had an assist on the goal to set the NHL record for assists by a rookie defenseman in a single postseason (13).

"I think we got a really good team, we know that," Hughes said. "The coaching staff believes in us, and most importantly we believe in ourselves. We have good leadership, we knew we didn't play well in the first two periods, knew we had to push a little bit.

"The next game, it'll be important to do that for 60 minutes. But there's a lot of faith in the group. We know they're a good team, but we know we're a good team too."

The Golden Knights lost for the first time when scoring first in the postseason (8-1-0). staff writers Tracey Myers and Tim Campbell contributed to this report

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