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Nashville Predators

Thatcher Demko Out For Game 2, Could Miss Rest Of Predators Series



Photo of Thatcher Demko courtesy of the Nashville Predators

Momentum may have just swung the Nashville Predators’ way and they haven’t even taken the ice for Game 2 of their Stanley Cup Playoffs matchup against the Vancouver Canucks yet.

According to multiple reports, Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko will not play in Tuesday’s Game 2, and his status is questionable for the remainder of the series.

Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli first reported the news, which was later confirmed by head coach Rick Tocchet, who said Demko is listed as day-to-day.

“He skated yesterday, we’re not going to play him tonight,” Tocchet said, via Predators team reporter Zach Gilchriest. “We’re going to evaluate him today on something that wasn’t the old injury.”

Demko had an excellent Game 1 performance, stopping 20 of 22 shots faced (.909 save percentage), and limiting the Predators to just four shots on four power-play opportunities. The 28-year-old net-minder received treatment after Sunday’s 4-2 Game 1 win.

In his absence, Casey DeSmith will start for Vancouver in Game 2. The 32-year-old went 12-9-6 across 27 starts during the regular season with a 2.89 goals-against average and an .896 save percentage, but he really struggled filling in for Demko down the stretch.

He went 4-5-1 in his final 10 games, posting a 2.94 goals-against average and .888 save percentage. During that span, he allowed four or more goals three times and had a save percentage below. 900 five times.

In his lone appearance against the Predators in the regular season, DeSmith allowed two goals on 28 shots faced in a 5-2 victory on Dec. 19 at Bridgestone Arena.

In that game, the Predators finished with just 28 shots (well below their regular-season average of 32.2) and had 17 more blocked, and they went 0-for-2 on the power play.

Following Sunday’s loss, many in the Predators locker room mentioned needing to respond with desperation in Game 2. DeSmith should expect to see a lot of pucks coming his way early and often.

“It’s all about the result here at this point and all about our response,” Ryan McDonagh said. “You always look at the things you regret after a game and I think we kind of regret our desperation level there. … And it doesn’t have to be pretty, but the desperation and the execution and the will to get it done has to come through.”

Follow Michael Gallagher on X/Twitter @MGsports_

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