Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko out for Game 2 against Predators

Vancouver Canucks Thatcher Demko
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
3 days ago
The Vancouver Canucks will be without goaltender Thatcher Demko Tuesday night as they face the Nashville Predators in game two of their first-round series.
And the Canucks might be without him for even longer, as Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reported Demko’s status for the remainder of the series is in question.
Demko missed over a dozen games late in the season dealing with a knee injury, but recovered in time to suit up for the Canucks’ final two regular season games. In them, he didn’t look out of place going 1-1 with a .938 save percentage, as he was solid in Game One of the team’s playoff series against Nashville, turning aside 20 of 22 shots for a .909 save percentage in a big win.
Prior to the injury, Demko was having a season that had him in early conversations for the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goaltender. Before being injured in a March 9 game against the Jets, he posted a 34-13-2 record and a .917 save percentage.
Between the time he was injured and when he returned, the Canucks relied upon Casey DeSmith — the likely candidate to fill in for Demko in game two tonight — and Arturs Silovs. The pair struggled, however, combining for a .884 save percentage, the fifth-worst rate in the league over that 14-game stretch. The Canucks managed to keep their heads above water, going 7-5-2, despite being outscored 40-39.
On the season, DeSmith appeared in 29 games, posting a 12-9-6 record and a .895 save percentage. If he draws into the lineup tonight, it will mark his second post-season game in his six-year NHL career. His only other start came in game one of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ first-round series against the Rangers in 2022, in which DeSmith turned aside 48 of 51 shots but was injured in double overtime of that game.
DeSmith has appeared in three games against the Predators in his career, including a 5-2 win on Dec. 19th this season in which he posted a .929 save percentage.
The puck drop for game two is set for tonight at 7 p.m. PST.
UPDATE: TSN’s Farhan Lalji is reporting that Demko’s injury is to the same knee that kept him out for five weeks and had an MRI yesterday.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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