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

Cowichan Valley Capitals forward Sean Ramsay comes away with the puck after a battle along the boards during a game against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on May 1, 2021. (Elena Rardon/Black Press Media)
Three wins in a row for Cowichan Capitals

BCHL team enjoying best stretch of the season

Friends have set up a GoFundMe account for the family of Dorothy Littau, who was diagnosed with colon cancer last month. (Submitted)
GoFundMe campaign set up ‘ever-present force in South Cowichan schools’

Dorothy Littau was diagnosed with colon cancer in April

Peter and Wayne Richmond and 49th Parallel Grocery won the award for Business Achievement 20+ Employees at the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s 22nd Black Tie Awards on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Submitted)
Black Tie winners announced during virtual awards event

Recipients gave speeches by phone while being live-streamed on YouTube

Cobble Hill’s Bob Collins (left) and reservist Keenan Hayes stand at attention at Cobble Hill Cenotaph in this photo taken on Oct. 22, 2019, to honour members of the Canadian military who died in Canada in non-combat roles. (File photo)
MacGregor seeks to honour armed services members who died on Canadian soil

MP introduces bill to mark Oct. 22 as “Canadian Armed Forces Members’ Day”

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
Clash between loggers, activists halts forestry operations over Fairy Creek

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

The courthouse in Nanaimo, B.C. (News Bulletin file)
Island man sentenced in Nanaimo after causing a dog unnecessary pain and suffering

Kiefer Tyson Giroux, 26, of Nanoose Bay, given six-month sentence

Following a one-year pause due to the pandemic, the Snowbirds were back in the skies over the Comox Valley Wednesday (May 5) morning. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Video: Snowbirds hold first training session in Comox Valley in more than 2 years

The team will conduct their training from May 4 to 26 in the area

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

Most Read