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Thatcher Demko was nervous
03-21-2019, 06:24 AM,
Post: #1
Thatcher Demko was nervous
VANCOUVER Adidas Thomas Hickey Jersey , British Columbia (AP) —  before stepping on the ice.It sure didn’t show.The 23-year-old goalie made 36 saves in his second NHL game, leading the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.“An opportunity for me,” Demko said. “I’m just really excited and wanted to make the most of it.”Alex Edler, Sven Baertschi, Brock Boeser and Loui Eriksson scored for Vancouver. Bo Horvat had two assists.Buffalo got goals from Evan Rodrigues, Kyle Okposo and Sam Reinhart. Linus Ullmark stopped 19 shots.“For a large majority of the game we played the way we wanted to, but those mistakes we’re making are just a little too big,” Reinhart said. “I’m sure we can correct and we are going to.”Demko, who made one appearance for the Canucks last season, was called up Jan. 4 from the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League after Vancouver traded backup goalie Anders Nilsson to Ottawa.“I’ve been working hard and just patiently waiting for that first chance,” Demko said.He was tested early and often Friday, and his performance had the crowd chanting “Dem-Ko! Dem-Ko!” in appreciation of some highlight-reel saves.“He was great. Good to see. He was one of our best players tonight,” Vancouver coach Travis Green said.Rodrigues beat the young goaltender 8:48 in after Rasmus Ristolainen got a pass to the left wing down low and Rodrigues chipped it up over Demko’s pad.Vancouver had yet to register a single shot.Edler got the Canucks on the board 3½ minutes later with a massive slap shot from the blue line. The speeding puck squeezed through traffic and past Ullmark down low.Vancouver went up by one at 15:31 of the first after defenseman Derrick Pouliot sliced a pass through the Buffalo crease to Baertschi, who collected it on his tape and popped the puck into a wide-open net.The Swiss left wing sustained a concussion in October that kept him out of the lineup for 30 games. He has six points since he returned late last month.Early in the second, Pouliot and fellow defenseman Erik Gudbranson got caught behind the Vancouver net, leaving Okposo wide open at the hash marks. The right wing got the puck and flipped a backhand past Demko to even the score.Vancouver pulled ahead once again eight minutes into the period.Horvat stripped Buffalo’s Lawrence Pilut of the puck and made a beautiful pass to Boeser in front of the Sabres net. The right wing tipped it in for his 16th goal of the season.“Me shooting the puck hasn’t been working so I thought I’d give it to somebody who’s going to put it in the net,” Horvat said.Horvat doesn’t have a goal since Dec. 20, but his assist was his 200th career point.“Never when you’re playing in the NHL do you think you’ll be able to hit these kind of milestones Adidas Tom Kuhnhackl Jersey ,” he said. “It’s really exciting and it feels even better to get that win.”The lead didn’t last long. Almost three minutes later, Conor Sheary made a quick pass to Reinhart in front of the Vancouver crease and he put in a no-look backhand up high.“Probably half our team didn’t play their best hockey game. And when you can not play your best and win, that’s a real bonus in the NHL,” Green said.“Our goalie gave us a good period in the third period. And we found a way to win a hockey game.”Nearly six minutes into the third, Canucks left wing Josh Leivo dug out the puck from behind the Buffalo net and dished it to Eriksson. He put a one-timer past Ullmark for his fourth point in three games.The Sabres had opportunities to tie it again on a power play late in the third. Ullmark was pulled with 87 seconds left, but Demko held strong.“Responsibility without the puck, that was the difference. But I can’t complain, we had a heck of a game,” Buffalo coach Phil Housley said.The Canucks registered just four shots in the opening period. Demko kept them in a game that got off to an “ugly” start, according to Horvat.“That’s unbelievable. Especially at a young age, coming in. These are meaningful games and he stepped up like great players do and he played phenomenal tonight,” Horvat said. “We owe him a lot of credit.”NOTES: Vancouver’s Nikolay Goldobin was a healthy scratch for the second game in a row. … The defeat ended a three-game swing through Canada for the Sabres, who lost 7-2 in Edmonton on Monday and beat Calgary 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday.UP NEXTSabres: Off until after the All-Star break.Canucks: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. DENVER (AP) Nathan MacKinnon is counting on 18,000 of his rowdy friends to give the Colorado Avalanche a little bit of an extra buzz.Maybe even throw Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne off his game.Trailing the top-seeded Predators 2-0 in the first-round series, the Avalanche return Monday (10 p.m. EDT, NBCSN) to a building that’s certainly been something to write home about this season. Their 28 wins at the Pepsi Center in the regular season tied the franchise mark held by the 2000-01 squad that went on to capture the Stanley Cup.”We have lots of confidence here,” said MacKinnon , whose team has dropped 12 straight to the Predators. ”The building has been a lot of fun this year.”Colorado isn’t the only team hoping a change of scenery provides a change in momentum – Toronto returns to friendly confines down 2-0 in the series against Boston (7 p.m. Adidas Matt Martin Jersey , NBCSN). The New Jersey Devils are in the same boat versus Tampa Bay (7:30 p.m., CNBC) heading into their first playoff home game since 2012.Then there’s the San Jose Sharks, who are sitting pretty after two road wins against Anaheim (10:30 p.m., CNBC). Now at home, the Sharks get last change and the opportunity to dictate matchups.”It’s a nice luxury being at home, having those matchups,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. ”The bigger advantage is the crowd and the environment and being able to sleep in your own bed.”For New Jersey, climbing back in the series boils down to this – avoiding big early deficits. They trailed the Lightning 3-0 in Game 1 and 5-1 in Game 2 before staging a comeback.”We need to play as a group,” said coach John Hynes, who plans to make some lineup changes. ”We can’t have passengers.”MacKinnon said the Avs need to clean up the little things against a savvy Predators team.”We’re in a tough spot right now,” MacKinnon said. ”Two games at home. Hopefully, we can even up the series.”The Predators fully expect a more tenacious rush from a youthful Colorado squad.”They’re persistent,” Nashville forward Austin Watson said. ”There’s no quit in them.”ENCOREBoston hopes David Pastrnak packs his Game 2 performance for the trip to Toronto. The 21-year-old had three goals and three assists to become the youngest NHL player with six or more points in a playoff game, surpassing Wayne Gretzky, according to the Bruins website.”When you’re breaking a Wayne Gretzky record, I hope he realizes at his young age how cool it is,” forward David Backes told reporters. ”Hopefully he had fun last night and enjoyed that moment because it is special.”REASON FOR OPTIMISMThe Ducks can latch on to some recent history for optimism in coming back from an 0-2 deficit. They lost the first two games at home in the second round last year to Edmonton before rallying to win the series in seven games.”That’s the situation we’re in. We have a good team,” Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano said. ”We have a team that’s been in these situations before.”CAKE WALKThis definitely takes the cake: At the start of the playoffs Adidas Anthony Beauvillier Jersey , IndyCar driver Josef Newgarden, a Nashville fan, proposed a wager to fellow racer, James Hinchcliffe, a Toronto Maple Leafs supporter. The driver with the team that bowed out of the Stanley Cup playoffs first had to bake the other a homemade cake and present it at an autograph session while wearing the opposing team’s sweater.”Challenge accepted,” Hinchcliffe responded. ”They (Maple Leafs) are going to win it all. Nobody goes further than the team holding the Cup.”Hinchcliffe added: ”Personally, I’m a red velvet guy.”Newgarden said he prefers vanilla.SAVING THE DAYAvalanche coach Jared Bednar thought goaltender Jonathan Bernier played ”OK” in the first two games.”If you look at the importance of goaltending this time of year, good is usually not good enough,” Bednar said.Goaltending is on the minds of the Devils, too. Keith Kinkaid played well down the stretch, but has struggled in the postseason. He was lifted in the second period Sunday after giving up five goals on 15 shots.Cory Schneider, who was the starter most of the season until a hip and groin injury in January sidelined him for a month, finished and did not allow a goal on 10 shots.”There is still a lot of hockey to be played,” Devils forward Taylor Hall said, ”and a lot of hockey on home ice as well.”—AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno and AP Sports Writers Teresa M. Walker, Josh Dubow Tom Canavan and Fred Goodall contributed to this report.—
04-22-2019, 07:01 PM,
Post: #2
RE: Thatcher Demko was nervous
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05-15-2019, 10:34 PM,
Post: #3
RE: Thatcher Demko was nervous
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