July 17th, 2024

Canucks crush Jets 5-0, but lose Demko in second period

By Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press on March 9, 2024.

Vancouver Canucks' Quinn Hughes (43), Teddy Blueger (53) and Phillip Di Giuseppe (34) skate to the bench after celebrating Di Giuseppe's goal as Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) watches during the first period of an NHL game, in Vancouver, Saturday, March 9, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ethan Cairns

VANCOUVER – Casey DeSmith turned away 10 shots in relief and the Vancouver Canucks blanked the Winnipeg Jets 5-0 on Saturday.

The Canucks (42-17-7) may have lost a key piece in the process, however, as all-star goalie Thatcher Demko left midway through the second period after stopping all 12 shots he faced.

Elias Pettersson, Nils Hoglander and Pius Suter all scored and registered an assist for Vancouver, while J.T. Miller and Phillip Di Giuseppe each added a goal.

Quinn Hughes contributed a pair of assists.

Connor Hellebuyck stopped 32-of-37 shots for Winnipeg (40-18-5), who were coming off a 3-0 win over the Kraken in Seattle on Friday.

The victory extended Vancouver’s win streak to four games and kept the squad atop the Western Conference standings.

Hoglander chipped a pass in from the boards and Suter, facing away from the net, swept it in to put Vancouver up 5-0 with less than five minutes to play.

Midway through the middle frame, the Canucks made an unexpected lineup move when DeSmith replaced Demko and the starting netminder went directly down the tunnel.

What led Demko to leave was not immediately clear but the Canucks announced at the beginning of the third that he would not return to the game.

Heading into Saturday’s matchup, Demko sat tied with Alexandar Georgiev of the Colorado Avalanche with 33 wins on the season, the most in the NHL.

A stingy Canucks defence helped DeSmith out in net, but the backup was tested late in the game. He denied Kyle Connor from in tight, then turned away the Jets star’s second chance on the ensuing rebound.

Vancouver went up 4-0 early in the second period when Pettersson put away his 31st goal of the year on a power play.

Hughes unleashed a blast from the point, hitting Conor Garland in the slot. The puck fell to Pettersson, who backhanded a shot in around Hellebuyck’s outstretched skate 4:04 into the second.

Vancouver was 1-for-2 with the man advantage Saturday, while Winnipeg went 0-for-1.

The Canucks took a 3-0 lead into the first intermission, thanks in part to Demko.

The netminder denied Mason Appleton with his left pad and the rebound bounced to Teddy Blueger in the slot. The Vancouver centre took off down the ice, then dished the puck to Di Giuseppe who tapped a shot through Hellebuyck’s pads with three minutes to go in the opening frame.

Hoglander gave the home side a two-goal lead 13:47 into the first, tossing a puck on net that bounced in off Hellebuyck. The goal was the Swedish forward’s 20th of the season.

Vancouver’s offensive onslaught started just over two minutes into the game when Miller tucked a rebound behind the Winnipeg goaltender for his 32nd tally of the campaign.


The Jets return to Winnipeg where they’ll face the Washington Capitals on Monday.

The Canucks continue a season-high nine-game homestand Wednesday against the Colorado Avalanche.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 9, 2024.

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