Vancouver Canucks’ Brock Boeser (6) is stopped by Vegas Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner (90) during second period NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff action in Edmonton on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Vancouver Canucks’ Brock Boeser (6) is stopped by Vegas Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner (90) during second period NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff action in Edmonton on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Game 7 heartbreak for Vancouver as Vegas bounces Canucks from NHL playoffs with 3-0 win

Golden Knights advance to meet Dallas in Western Conference final

Shea Thedore scored late in the third period to break a scoreless tie and lead the Vegas Golden Knights to a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night, eliminating the last Canadian team from the NHL playoffs.

Theodore, on the power play, fired a quick wrist shot from the blue-line that found its way under the crossbar past goaltender Thatcher Demko at 13:52 of the third.

Alex Tuch and Paul Stastny scored into an empty net to seal the win in the seventh and deciding game of the Western Conference semifinal.

Vegas goes on to play the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference final.

Robin Lehner, making his 12th start of the playoffs, got the 14-save shutout win for Vegas to improve to 8-4.

Demko kept the Canucks in the game, which saw Vancouver outshot 36-14, in a third consecutive game of puck-stopping heroics.

Vegas had been up 3-1 in the series before Demko came on in relief for injured starter Jacob Markstrom in Game 5. He stonewalled the Golden Knights by stopping 90 of 91 shots over the next two games, allowing Vancouver to win 2-1 and 4-0 and tie the series.

For much of the game it was the same script: Vegas dominated the Canucks, left them running around in their own end as they fired shot after shot, many of which were blocked or missed the target. When they found their mark, Demko speared the puck through traffic or flicked out a pad to stop it.

Vegas had 21 shots through the first two periods while Vancouver had six.

Lehner was so starved for work that during one TV timeout he skated out to the blue-line and did leg stretches to keep limber.

Vancouver had four shots in the second period but the highlight save came from Lehner, flashing his glove to knock down a Brock Boeser shot on a wide open net on a two-on-one.

Vegas winger Ryan Reaves was given a game misconduct late in the second after delivering a shoulder-to-chin hit on Tyler Motte.

The win avoids a disastrous deja vu for the Golden Knights.

After advancing to the Stanley Cup final in their inaugural 2018 season, Vegas was up 3-1 to the San Jose Sharks in the first playoff round last year only to lose three straight and go home.

Theodore led the way, racking up two goals and seven assists against Vancouver. Mark Stone led all Vegas forwards with two goals and seven points in the series.

The Golden Knights were 39-24-8, good for seventh overall, when the NHL stopped, and later cancelled, the regular season due to the spread of COVID-19. The Canucks were 36-27-6, 18th overall.

All games in the Western Conference playoffs were played without spectators at Rogers Place. Players isolated between contests in a so-called bubble to prevent contracting COVID-19.

Despite the loss, the playoffs represented a step forward for the Canucks.

Vancouver had not been in the playoffs since 2015. They beat the Wild in this year’s qualifying round, then recorded their first playoff series win since 2011 when they dispatched the reigning Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in six games.

READ MORE: Stayin’ alive: Demko makes 48 saves as Canucks force Game 7 with 4-0 win over Vegas

Their last playoff win was over the San Jose Sharks in the final-four series in 2011. Vancouver went on to lose to the Boston Bruins that year in the Stanley Cup final.

Half the roster, including key performers like Markstrom, Demko, Elias Pettersson, Boeser, and Quinn Hughes, now have 17 games of experience, including bounce-back performances and elimination games, to draw upon.

Their best players were T their best in the post-season: Pettersson logged seven goals 18 points. Bo Horvat scored 10, and J.T. Miller racked up a goal and seven assists against Vegas.

They also know they have two prime time goalies, with Markstrom becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Meanwhile, Canada’s last Stanley Cup continues to get even smaller and smaller in history’s rear-view mirror.

No Canadian team has won the Stanley Cup since the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Los Angeles Kings in June 1993.

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

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

The Premier Hotel on Summerland’s Main Street and the taxi were owned by Bill and Lydia Johnston. Today, the building is Sass Fashions in Summerland. H.S. Kenyon, who moved the building to Summerland from Midway, continued with building construction. His family now operates Greyback Construction. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Two former Summerland hotel buildings have been moved over the years

Transport of buildings is part of community’s history

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

Caroline McKay
COLUMN: Bring books out of hibernation for the new year

Plenty of lesser-known works from famous authors available from the library

The trailer’s occupant fled the scene of the fire because he was afraid, officials were told. 
(Andrea DeMeer- Spotlight)
Princeton trailer fire deemed not suspicious

Man fled the scene because he was afraid, officials were told

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Most Read