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NHL Bubble Wrap: Flyers, Canucks not finished yet

NHL Scores

EDMONTON, ALBERTA - SEPTEMBER 01: Goaltender Thatcher Demko #35 of the Vancouver Canucks is congratulated by teammate Jake Virtanen #18 after their 2-1 win in Game Five of the Western Conference Second Round of the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff between the Vancouver Canucks and the Vegas Golden Knights at Rogers Place on September 01, 2020 in Edmonton, Alberta. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

  • The Flyers lose a key player to injury but still get the Game 5 win in overtime.
  • Thatcher Demko gets the start for Vancouver and steals the game to extend the Canucks’ season.
  • Another huge game for the Canucks’ core players.

Philadelphia Flyers 4, New York Islanders 3 (Islanders lead series 3-2)

The Flyers get at least one more game this season. Scott Laughton’s overtime goal forced a Game 6 against the New York Islanders and helped the Flyers avoid what could have been a brutal third period meltdown that saw them give up two goals in the final six minutes of regulation. The Flyers finally received some goals from their top players as Claude Giroux, James van Riemsdyk, and Matt Niskanen all scored their first goals of this postseason. The big downside for the Flyers in this one is Sean Couturier did not play in the third period or overtime due to injury. Mathew Barzal also missed overtime for the Islanders due to injury.

Vancouver Canucks 2, Vegas Golden Knights 1 (Golden Knights lead series 3-2)

The Golden Knights did quite literally everything they could in Game 5 but it still was not enough to get the win. Why? Because Thatcher Demko came off the bench and played the game of his life to steal this one for the Canucks and extend their series to a sixth game on Thursday night. Brock Boeser and Elias Pettersson scored the goals for the Canucks, but Demko is the real reason they won.

[Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round schedule]

Three Stars

1. Thatcher Demko, Vancouver Canucks. There is only one logical choice for the top star on this night, and it is the Canucks’ backup goalie for almost single-handedly keeping his team’s season going. Demko had no margin for error in this game and completely shut down one of the league’s best teams in a must-win situation. Big moment, and an even bigger performance.

2. Scott Laughton, Philadelphia Flyers. When Couturier left the game with his injury in the second period, it was Laughton that got bumped up to his spot. He responded by scoring the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Flyers a 4-3 win to force a Game 6 in the series. After being a healthy scratch earlier in the playoffs this is quite the redemption moment.

3. Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks were not particularly good on Tuesday night, but their core players still managed to come through with the game on the line. Boeser played an especially big role as he was a central part of their two goals, scoring a game-tying goal just 24 seconds after Vancouver took the lead, and then assisting on Elias Pettersson’s game-winning goal in the third period.

Highlights of the Night

Laughton’s goal send the Flyers-Islanders series to Game 6 on Thursday night.

Shea Theodore scores one of the best goals of the playoffs.

Elias Pettersson’s game-winning goal for the Canucks.


  • Laughton is the sixth different Flyers player to ever score an overtime goal with the team facing elimination in the playoffs. [NHL PR]
  • Josh Bailey is having one heck of a postseason for the New York Islanders. [NHL PR]
  • Shea Theodore has a seven-game point streak for the Vegas Golden Knights and that puts him in rare company. [NHL PR]
  • Quinn Hughes is also making some history for the Canucks. [NHL PR]

Wednesday’s Schedule

Game 6: Colorado Avalanche vs. Dallas Stars, 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, Livestream (Stars lead series 3-2)

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.