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NHL: Boudreau hails Canucks goalie Demko

Head coach Bruce Boudreau hailed goalie Thatcher Demko after he made a career-high 51 saves to help the Vancouver Canucks beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2.

The Canucks, 125/1 to win the Stanley Cup, were outshot 53-24 against the Leafs forcing Demko into the most saves by a Vancouver goalie in 37 years.

Demko matches Merzlikins' feat

Demko became the second netminder this season to make over 50 saves in a game, after Elvis Merzlikins stopped 56 shots for the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 6-0 loss to the Flames in January.

Demko's stunning performance earned him a 19th win of the season (19-15-2) in 37 games (36 starts). His .921 save-percentage ranks tenth in the NHL and he has a 2.53 goals-against-average (GAA).

The 6'4" American has become Vancouver's bona-fide number one over the past three seasons and was signed to a five-year contract extension in March 2021.

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Boudreau took over the Canucks coaching role from Travis Green on 5th December and won his first seven games in charge.

Vancouver (22-21-6) have gone 14-6-4 under Boudreau, who coached his 1,000th NHL regular season game on 23rd January.

Sitting sixth in the Pacific Division, the improved Canucks are back in play-off contention with just nine points separating the top six teams in the Division.

Boudreau said to the media after beating the Leafs: "I don't care if we got outshot. We ended up winning the game and that's the bottom line.

"It would take a fool to think that, we know the goalie was amazing. He's our goalie and we get to have him every night."

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