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game recap

Golden Knights shut out Canucks in Game 7, advance to West Final

Theodore breaks tie in third period for Vegas, which limits Vancouver to 14 shots

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Theodore breaks through in 3rd

VAN@VGK, Gm7: Theodore capitalizes off draw for PPG

R2, Gm7: Shea Theodore collects the puck off the face-off and threads home a shot through traffic on the power play for a late 1-0 lead

  • 00:44 •

Shea Theodore scored the tiebreaking goal with 6:08 remaining in the third period, and the Vegas Golden Knights advanced to the Western Conference Final with a 3-0 win against the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the second round at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Friday.

Theodore scored on a power play with a snap shot through a screen provided by William Karlsson and Mark Stone five seconds after J.T. Miller was called for hooking.

"It's crazy," Theodore said. "I think we had so many good quality chances. I thought we did a lot better job getting to the net tonight, getting rebounds, so to finally break that tie was huge. It was a big one for our group."


[WATCH: All Canucks vs. Golden Knights highlights]


Robin Lehner made 14 saves for his third shutout of the series for Vegas, the No. 1 seed in the West, which advanced to the conference final for the second time in three seasons.

"Robin Lehner was great; we didn't have any passengers tonight," Golden Knights coach Peter DeBoer said. "We had 20 committed guys out there making sure we advanced. We felt like we played two pretty good games in Games 5 and 6, and it took almost all of Game 7 in order to put them away, so you have to give (Canucks coach) Travis Green and his group a ton of credit for how they battled and hung in there and pushed us right to the edge."

Game 1 of conference final will be against the Dallas Stars in Edmonton, the hub city for the conference finals and Stanley Cup Final, on Sunday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, TVAS).

Thatcher Demko made 33 saves for the Canucks, the No. 5 seed, who were 0-for-4 with 11 minutes of power-play time.

"Man, did [Demko] ever give us a chance," Green said. "I'm happy for him. I've been with him for a while. It was good to see him raise to this level. I don't think many people thought we'd be a goal away from going to the (NHL) semifinals.

"[Vegas] is a big, strong, fast team and I know we left everything out there. Our guys were coming off the ice panting and tired, but we're not going to use that as an excuse. We still had a chance to win the hockey game."

Lehner's best save came against Brock Boeser at 10:42 of the second period, when he slid across the crease and robbed the Canucks forward with his glove.

"Well, it was a 2-on-1 and they have a lot of good shooters, so I tried to be aggressive," Lehner said. "He got it across. I know you say I can't save backdoor shots, but the big man can move when he wants too."

Video: VAN@VGK, Gm7: Lehner dives to rob Boeser

Vancouver had a five-minute power play spanning the second and third period after Ryan Reaves was given a match penalty for a check to the head of Tyler Motte at 16:30 of the second, but the Canucks could only generate one shot on goal.

"We're just a resilient team," Golden Knights forward Jonathan Marchessault said. "We work hard, and when we work hard, I think we're a successful team. Obviously, we have a lot of skill, a lot of great players in that team, but at the end of the day, every night it's going to be the hard-working team that is going to win."

Alex Tuch (17:54) and Paul Stastny (19:54) scored into an empty net for the 3-0 final.

"They have a really good team and we took them to seven games," Canucks captain Bo Horvat said. "We shouldn't hang our heads. You've got to give them the credit. They have a good hockey team over there.

"[Demko], especially in this last couple games, was unbelievable. We wouldn't be in these situations without him. ... He was a brick wall for us."

Video: VAN@VGK, Gm7: Demko flashes the leather on Stastny

Demko, who made 42 saves in his first NHL postseason start in Game 5 and had a 48-save shutout in Game 6, made 98 consecutive saves before Theodore scored on the power play.

He was playing in place of Jacob Markstrom, who was unfit to play for the third straight game. As part of the NHL Return to Play Plan, a team is not permitted to disclose player injury or illness information.

"It's a huge amount of experience, playing a good team like that, playing in elimination games, high-pressure games," Demko said. "Those are experiences that are invaluable for young guys like me (24). I'm really excited to get back and make a push next year."

NOTES: Lehner's three shutouts tied the NHL record for most in a playoff series, last achieved by Michael Leighton with the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2010 Eastern Conference Final. Lehner has won five of his 12 games against the Canucks (regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs), with each of the wins a shutout. … DeBoer is 5-0 in Game 7s. columnist Nicholas J. Cotsonika and staff writer Tim Campbell contributed to this report

Video: Lehner, Golden Knights advance to WCF with Game 7 win

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