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Canucks eye Pacific crown as Demko returns from injury

Thatcher Demko Vancouver Canucks Thatcher Demko - The Canadian Press

The Vancouver Canucks have a chance to clinch the Pacific Division crown Tuesday as Thatcher Demko makes his return to the crease after missing more than a month of action.

The Canucks need a single point against the Calgary Flames Tuesday to claim first place in the division, with Demko making his first start since March 9 due to a knee injury. The door is not yet closed on the Canucks also finishing atop the Western Conference, but it would require Vancouver winning their final two games and the Dallas Stars losing their final game of the season on Wednesday against the St. Louis Blues

The 28-year-old Demko has appeared in 49 games for Vancouver this season, going 34-13-2 with a .917 save percentage and 2.47 goals-against average. 

As Demko pursues win No. 35 on the year, the Canucks also have a chance to win their 50th game of the season against the Flames.


“That’s not our ultimate goal, but it shows what a year it has been,” defenceman Quinn Hughes told the Vancouver Province Monday of potentially reaching the milestone. “Our consistency throughout the year started in camp. We feel pretty good about our game.

“We’re not going to play amazing every night, but we try to piece together as many strong periods as we can and see where it takes us. That’s what we’re going to try and do. We want to be on our ‘A’ game, and I feel we’re getting close to that.”

The Canucks have leaned largely on Casey DeSmith with Demko sidelined. The 32-year-old has a 12-9-6 record with a .896 save percentage and a 2.89 GAA. Arturs Silovs has also seen four starts this season, going 3-0-1 with an .881 save percentage and a 2.47 GAA. 

Vancouver is looking to rediscover the success they found for most of the season with Demko in net, having gone 7-5-2 since his injury.