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Field Level Media - Professional sports content solutions | FLM

Apr 26, 2024 10:43 pm

Casey DeSmith backstops Canucks to win over Predators

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Casey DeSmith made 29 saves for his first career playoff win as the visiting Vancouver Canucks beat the Nashville Predators 2-1 on Friday night.

Vancouver grabbed a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference first-round playoff series. Game 4 of the best-of-seven set is set for Sunday in Nashville.

DeSmith has been forced into action because of a lower-body injury to No. 1 goalie Thatcher Demko, who was only able to play in the series opener. Demko is likely to miss the remainder of the series.

J.T. Miller had a goal and an assist and Brock Boeser also scored for the Canucks. Defenseman Quinn Hughes had two assists.

Both goals came on the power-play goals after Vancouver went 0-for-6 with the extra man over the first two games of the series.

The Canucks blocked 30 shots in front of DeSmith, who spent the previous five seasons mostly as a backup for the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was only his third career playoff game.

“I cant say enough about the guys,” DeSmith said postgame on TBS. “All the kills we had. … The guys really earned that one. This is just a hard place to play.”

Despite the win, Vancouver did not return much fire as Nashville goalie Juuse Saros faced only 12 shots, stopping 10.

Luke Evangelista scored with 3:12 remaining in the third period to pull the Predators within a goal, but the hosts could not manage an equalizer.

“Just to hang on at the end and hold on to that one-goal lead,” DeSmith said. “That’s hard to do.”

Miller’s power-play goal gave the Canucks a 1-0 lead at 13:23 of the first period. With Michael McCarron off for running over DeSmith, Miller scored on a screened wrist shot from above the left circle.

It was the first time Vancouver scored first in the series, and it was Miller’s first goal of the postseason.

Boeser’s power-play goal made it 2-0 at 4:33 of the second period. Stationed in front of the net, he fought off a check to tip in Miller’s pass from the left corner. It was Boeser’s first goal of the playoffs. Predators star defenseman Roma Josi was in the penalty box for tripping Conor Garland.

There were a couple of scrums between the teams in the first period.

Vancouver defenseman Tyler Myers returned after missing Game 2 with the flu.

–Field Level Media

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