The Vancouver Canucks have another life in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. On Tuesday, the Canucks defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 2-1 in game five of their Western Conference semifinal series from Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta. With the win, the Canucks still trail the Golden Knights three games to two in the best out of seven series.
The story of the game in the Canucks win was the brilliant goaltending by Thatcher Demko, who made 42 saves on 43 shot attempts for a goals against average of .977. Demko becomes the first goaltender in Stanley Cup Playoff history since Jose Theodore in 1997 to win his NHL playoff debut when his team was facing elimination.
Theodore, a native of Laval, Quebec, started game four of the 1997 Eastern Conference quarterfinal series for the Montreal Canadiens. At the time, the Canadiens were trailing the New Jersey Devils three games to none, and Jocelyn Thibault of Montreal, Quebec had struggled over the first three games as he gave up 13 goals. That is when Canadiens head coach Mario Tremblay of Alma, Quebec put in Theodore. It was a brilliant performance for Theodore, as he made 56 saves on 59 shots as the Canadiens beat the Devils 4-3 in triple overtime on a game winning goal by Patrice Brisebois of Montreal, Quebec.
The Canucks meanwhile got goals on Tuesday from Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson. Game six of the series goes Thursday.