At Last: Vegas Solves Demko In 3-0 Game 7 Win Over Canucks

Lehner Gets 3rd Shutout Of Series. Dallas Next

Associated Press
September 04, 2020 - 8:49 pm

Vancouver Canucks' Brock Boeser (6) is stopped by Vegas Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner (90) during second-period NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff hockey action in Edmonton, Alberta, Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Shea Theodore finally solved Thatcher Demko with 6:08 remaining in the third period and the Vegas Golden Knights edged the Vancouver Canucks 3-0 on Friday night in Game 7 of their second-round series.

Theodore's goal was the first in 138:40 for the Golden Knights against Demko, the rookie who had brought Vancouver back from a 3-1 deficit in the series and held off Vegas for most of this game, too. Then Theodore scored a power-play goal on a wrist shot from the blue line that slipped through traffic and past Demko, who had made 98 consecutive saves.

Alex Tuch and Paul Stastny added empty-net goals.

Vegas outshot the Canucks 36-15 in the game and 127-55 over the final three. It was barely enough. The Golden Knights will face Dallas for a berth in the Stanley Cup final.

Robin Lehner had his third shutout of the series, and his sensational glove save on Brock Boeser in the second period kept the game scoreless.

Vancouver missed an opportunity when it failed to convert on an extended power play after Ryan Reaves was ejected toward the end of the second period.

The Golden Knights outshot Vancouver 91-40 in Games 5 and 6 but managed only one goal in that span. It was all Vegas again at the start of Game 7, but the Canucks withstood the initial push and made it to the end of the first period in a scoreless tie. The Golden Knights had an 11-2 edge in shots.

Reilly Smith missed the net on a breakaway early in the second for Vegas, and the best save of that period actually belonged to Lehner. As he has for most of these playoffs, he got the start over Marc-Andre Fleury, and when the Canucks produced a rare scoring opportunity on a 2-on-1 break, Lehner made a lunging glove save on Boeser.

Vancouver found itself with a big opportunity with 3:30 left in the period. Reaves received a major penalty and was ejected for a hit to the head of Tyler Motte, but that power play — which extended into the third period — was fruitless.

That call on Reaves seemed less controversial than the penalty that sank Vegas last season. In Game 7 of a first-round series against San Jose, the Golden Knights were up 3-0 when Cody Eakin was given a major penalty for cross-checking. The Sharks scored four quick goals and eventually won in overtime.

Nicolas Roy finally beat Demko to the glove side with about 12 minutes to go, but the shot hit the post. Then Vegas easily killed off another Vancouver power play as it became increasingly clear that the first goal would probably decide it.

Vancouver's J.T. Miller was called for hooking with 6:13 remaining, and Vegas needed only a few seconds to score.

With the Canucks out, Canada again won't have a Stanley Cup champion. The last team from Canada to win it all was Montreal in 1993.

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