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Canucks remain confident in backup DeSmith: 'I don't worry about Casey'


With star goaltender Thatcher Demko sidelined with a knee injury, Casey DeSmith has been thrust into the starting role for the Vancouver Canucks once again. 

DeSmith, who saw the majority of action as Demko was out for a month late in the year, had far from a dream Canucks playoff debut, allowing three goals on 15 shots in a 4-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday.

Former Canuck Anthony Beauvillier deflected a puck past DeSmith less than 75 seconds into the first period and the Canucks failed to find offence as the Predators evened the first round series at 1-1. Despite a rough Game 2, the Canucks remain confident in DeSmith as the series moves to Nashville for Game 3 on Friday night.

"We've got all the faith in the world in Casey," defenceman Ian Cole told "That fluky one in the first, it's a high tip with a guy reaching out with one hand and he doesn't see the redirection. It's unfortunate, and I think as a team we could have cleaned up some of the other ones.

"Those weren't on him. We can do a better job. We can help him out a lot more and we know that he's going to be really good for us tomorrow."

"I don't worry about Casey," head coach Rick Tocchet added. "He's given us some really good starts this year. The Edmonton (Oilers) game at the end of the year (32 saves in a 3-1 victory April 13) was a big game for us. I thought he was fine last game, he's smiling today. That's why I love Casey."

Prior to Game 2, the 32-year-old netminder had previously made one career playoff start, posting 48 saves in a triple-overtime win over the New York Rangers with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2022. He finished the regular season with a 12-9-6 record with a .896 save percentage and a 2.89 goals-against average. 

Demko's status remains up in the air as he deals with a new injury to the same knee that sidelined him for most of March. The 28-year-old netminder did travel with the Canucks to Nashville for Games 3 and 4. 

The two-time All-Star had a career season in 2023-24, posting a 35-14-2 record with a 2.45 GAA and a .918 save percentage. Demko stopped 20 of 22 shots during Sunday's Game 1 win over the Predators.