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'No panic' for Canucks despite Game 2 loss, Demko injury


The Vancouver Canucks saw their first-round series evened Tuesday as the Nashville Predators earned a 4-1 victory in Game 2.

Canucks goaltender Casey DeSmith allowed three goals on 15 shots as he filled in for Thatcher Demko, whose status for the remainder of the series is in doubt due to a knee injury suffered in Game 1. 

The Canucks had little trouble generating offence in Game 1 of the series - a 4-2 win - but were largely held in check Tuesday with just 18 shots on goal.

“I thought we created a lot today, just didn’t capitalize on our chances. That was the difference in the game,” defenceman Nikita Zadorov said after the loss. “They’re super desperate. They're laying out for every puck, they're trying to block with their faces. So, that's what maybe we can learn from them in that particular thing. It’s hard to win. I mean, it's playoff hockey. It’s a long series.

"There’s no panic in the room.”

Demko missed a month of action late in the season and the Canucks struggled while largely leaning on DeSmith, posting a 7-5-2 record while their starter was on injured reserve. Demko's latest injury is reportedly not related to the previous issue, though it is to the same knee.

DeSmith's first start of the postseason got off to a shaky start as former Canuck Anthony Beauvillier deflected a puck past him less than 75 seconds into the first period.

“I didn’t see the guy’s stick in the lane and I was just kind of moving over to the backdoor guy expecting him to tip it,” he explained of the opening goal. “It got tipped up a little higher and [my] blade slipped out. That was a tough way to start.”

 DeSmith finished the regular season with a went 12-9-6 in the regular season with a .896 save percentage and a 2.89 GAA. Arturs Silovs also saw four starts this season, going 3-0-1 with an .881 save percentage and a 2.47 GAA. 

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.