The Vancouver Canucks defeated the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 5 of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Golden Knights won Game 4 with a score of 5-3. Here is the recap of Game 5 between the Canucks and Golden Knights.
The Canucks knew they were in an elimination game and they brought all they had to the Golden Knights. Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom didn’t start in net due to being unfit to play so backup goaltender Thatcher Demko came in to replace Markstrom. And, you will see Demko’s name quite a lot during this recap. No goals were scored but both teams were definitely in the zone creating scoring chances and generating shots on goal.
The game was tied at zero going into the second period.
This period defined what the game was about. High intense, fast paced action from both sides. But, it would be Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore that gets the game’s first goal on a highlight reel play. However, the Canucks responded back as forward Brock Boeser scored 24 seconds after Theodore’s goal. Demko also stopped all 17 Golden Knights’ shots after Theodore’s goal. It took the Golden Knights 48 shot attempts to get a goal past Demko while it took the Canucks three shots.
The game was tied at one going into the third period.
The Golden Knights had this game in their hands until Canucks forward Elias Pettersson scored 3:19 into the third period to get his team their first lead in the game. From there, it was all Demko who stopped all 15 Golden Knights shots to hold onto the Canucks’ one goal lead. However, the Golden Knights made a last minute push pulling out goaltender Robin Lehner out of the net. They had chances to tie the game but forward Mark Stone took a penalty with 16 seconds left in the game. In the end, the Canucks held on to force a Game 6.
Vancouver won the game 2-1 but Vegas still leads the series 3-2.
Three Stars of the Game
Third Star: Shea Theodore (1 goal)
Second Star: Brock Boeser (1 goal, 1 assist)
First Star: Thatcher Demko (42 saves)
Vancouver played like they had nothing to lose except the fact that they were on the brink of being eliminated. They didn’t control the majority of the game but 17 shots on goal is all it took for them to win this game. But, the main reason why Vancouver won was the stellar performance from Demko. This was Demko’s first postseason appearance and it took his best game to help Vancouver stay in this series.
However, turnovers still continue to be a problem for Vancouver. They couldn’t get past Vegas through the neutral zone during the first period which led them to turnover the puck. Also, Vegas had won more than half of the faceoff battles which should be Vancouver’s speciality.
Regardless, they found a way to win and forced a pivotal Game 6.
Vegas Golden Knights
This game was similarly reminiscent to that of Game 4 against the Chicago Blackhawks when goaltender Corey Crawford saved 48 of 40 Vegas shots. Vegas seemed to do everything right except close out the series. Despite outshooting Vancouver 43-17, Vegas couldn’t seem to get their second goal past Demko. Though, the one positive they can take away from this game is winning more than half of the faceoff battles.
However, penalty trouble still continued to loom over Vegas when they never took this many penalties heading into this series. Vancouver loves to draw penalties so that they can get more scoring chances off their power plays. Luckily, Vegas was able to kill off all three of their penalties.
Vegas also seemed to not have been physically focused after the first period. Vancouver out hit Vegas 38-31 and Vegas needs to get back to that part of their game if they want to move on to the conference finals. And, in part of the physicality part of their game, they need to put more pressure by the top of the crease in their offensive zone. There were too many times when Demko easily tracked the puck to make those saves.
Whoever is in net in Game 6 for Vancouver, Vegas needs to create more traffic and pressure in front of Vancouver’s goaltender.
Game 6 of the Canucks-Golden Knights series is on Sept. 3 at 9:45 p.m. EST.