Game 7s were 2 for 2 on Friday night when it came to heart-thumping excitement.
The nightcap in Edmonton had the upstart Canucks facing the top-seeded Golden Knights in what ended up being a showcase of goaltenders. Vegas ended up breaking through against Vancouver netminder Thatcher Demko with under seven minutes to go in regulation on the power play, in what ended up being a 3-0 Golden Knights win.
Vancouver entered the game playing with house money after trailing 3-1 in the best-of-seven. Despite starting netminder Jacob Markstrom being deemed "unfit to play" for Games 5 and 6, the Canucks leveled the series as Demko came in and stole the show.
He made 42 saves in Game 5 to backstop the team to a 2-1 win and then posted a 48-save shutout in Game 6 to bring about Game 7. Until Shea Theodore got the first goal Friday, Demko had stopped the previous 98 shots.
"I thought it was more than 98," Theodore said in a television interview postgame. "I thought it was a couple hundred."
Mark Stone’s reaction to Thatcher Demko is my reaction to everything in 2020. pic.twitter.com/zKdNWsCb3R— (@dalter) September 5, 2020
On the opposite end, Vegas netminder Robin Lehner posted his third shutout of the series as he stopped all 14 shots he faced, including six high-danger shots. As apparent by the low shot total, the Golden Knights dominated play; they posted a 67.24 Corsi For percentage, 63.64 percentage for Scoring Chances For and 16 high-danger shots (per Natural Stat Trick).
Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer is now a perfect 5-0 in Game 7s. He also led the team that beat his previous team, the Sharks, in a Game 7 last year.
Sporting News had all the action as the Golden Knights shut out the Canucks for a spot in the Western Conference finals against the Stars.
Canucks vs. Golden Knights scores, highlights from Game 7
(All times Eastern.)
Final score: Golden Knights 3, Canuck 0
Third period: Golden Knights 3, Canucks 0
11:38 p.m. — GOAL. Another empty-netter, this time by Stastny. Golden Knights lead 3-0.
11:37 p.m. — Canucks hit two posts.
11:37 p.m. — Boeser again gets stopped by Lehner
11:35 p.m. — GOAL. Vegas' Tuch scores an empty-netter. Golden Knights lead 2-0.
11:34 p.m. — With 2:33 on the clock and a faceoff deep in the Golden Knights zone, the Canucks pull Demko.
11:33 p.m. — Another ridiculous save by Demko to keep it a one-goal game as he stones Schmidt, who's all alone in the slot.
11:29 p.m. — Canucks come close as Tyler Toffoli just misses on the far post.
11:25 p.m. — PP GOAL. Five seconds into the power play, Shea Theodore fires one from the point and it gets past Demko. Golden Knights lead 1-0.
Thatcher Demko’s streak ends at 98 consecutive saves. 138:40.— John Shannon (@JShannonhl) September 5, 2020
11:23 p.m. — With 6:13 left in the third period, J.T. Miller gets called for hooking. On the same sequence, Quinn Hughes got shaken up by a stick from his teammate Chris Tanev; he does tell the trainer on the bench he's OK.
11:15 p.m. — Pacioretty gets two for hooking with under 10 minutes to go in a game that's 0-0.
11:13 p.m. — Blocker save by Demko on Vegas' 29th shot. Canucks have 12 shots . . . in the game.
11:10 p.m. — Vegas hits the pipe. Getting close.
11:07 p.m. — Not really sure how the Golden Knights didn't score there but what a toe save by Demko in the middle of that sequence.
11:02 p.m. — Thatcher Demko comes up big as he stones Marchessault on the rebound on the Golden Knights' 23rd shot of the game.
10:58 p.m. — Final frame of regulation is a go. Canucks start with 90 seconds of power-play time.
Second period: Canucks 0, Golden Knights 0
10:40 p.m. — Canucks don't score but will have 1:30 left on the power play to start the third period.
10:35 p.m. — After review, Reaves is given a five-minute match penalty and a game misconduct for a hit to the head. Reaves is shown going down the tunnel breaking his stick.
10:34 p.m. — Tyler Motte goes to carry the puck up from below his goal line and gets leveled by Ryan Reaves. Looks like he clipped him in the face and Reaves is assessed a major penalty, which is reviewed.
10:31 p.m. — Five minutes to go in the period. The score is 0-0. The Golden Knights have 18 shots to the Canucks' five and Thatcher Demko has stopped 84 straight shots by Vegas dating to Game 5.
just tryin' to weather the storm, u?— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) September 5, 2020
10:28 p.m. — Golden Knights do not score.
10:25 p.m. — Edler takes a minor for holding the stick. Vegas gets a chance with the man advantage.
10:23 p.m. — And then it's Demko's turn to make some stops. The goalies are on fire in this one.
10:20 p.m. — WOW. Just WOW. Canucks break out 2-on-1 and Robin Lehner just absolutely robs Boeser with the diving glove save.
Quality > quantity saves for Robin Lehner tonight, damn. pic.twitter.com/cRMiUFr047— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) September 5, 2020
10:18 p.m. — Halfway through regulation and the Canucks have three shots on goal — in the entire game. The Golden Knights have 15.
10:09 p.m. — Puck got caught in Stecher's pants and it was entertaining because he couldn't find it.
10:08 p.m. — Zero shots on net with the man advantage for Vancouver.
10:05 p.m. — Pacioretty called for slashing and the Canucks head to the power play. They're 0 for 1 in the game.
10:03 p.m. — Rielly Smith skates in and misses wide.
10:02 p.m. — Demko robs Stastny.
10:02 p.m. — Middle frame underway.
First period: Canucks 0, Golden Knights 0
9:46 p.m. — Period ends. Canucks fans, avert your eyes.
- According to Natural Stat Trick , at 5v5 Vegas' Corsi For was 81.48 percent with a 6-1 advantage in scoring chances, three of which were high danger.
9:40 p.m. — Canucks get a power play. Quick reminder: They have two shots on net so far.
9:38 p.m. — Quick pause as one of the referees took a puck to the back of the helmet on a clearing attempt off the glass. He's OK and stays in.
9:37 p.m. — Less than four minutes left in the period: Vegas with 10 shots, Vancouver with two.
9:32 p.m. — Vegas did not score.
9:30 p.m. — Jake Virtanen gets a minor penalty and the Golden Knights head to the power play.
9:25 p.m. — Eleven minutes into the game and the Canucks have one shot on net.
9:19 p.m. — Seven minutes into the game and the shots are 6-0 in favor of the Golden Knights.
9:13 p.m. — Mark Stone flies down the right wing but it's Demko with the save off the shoulder.
9:10 p.m. — Game on. Winner take all.
8:49 p.m. — #Stickgate continues — and this one is fantastic.
8:31 p.m. — Officially official.
8:13 p.m. — Canucks have some guys who have been there, too.
8:09 p.m. — Maybe don't bet against DeBoer.
Peter DeBoer ( @GoldenKnights ) is the first head coach in NHL history to face a team in Game 7 & then lead that team to #Game7 the next postseason.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) September 4, 2020
At 4-0, he can become the first head coach to win each of his first 5 career Game 7s. #NHLStats : https://t.co/GAUmTVSOQT #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/SlOY8RYfD5