DeSmith injury not long term, could return for Canucks in Game 5: report

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Casey DeSmith won’t play in today’s playoff game in Nashville, but it doesn’t sound like his injury will keep him out of the Vancouver Canucks’ lineup for long.

“Doesn’t sound like it’s a major injury for DeSmith,” Irfaan Gaffar reports, adding that the 32-year-old netminder will likely return for Game 5 on Tuesday.

Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff adds that DeSmith’s injury “sounds relatively minor.”

DeSmith was hit by Nashville Predators forward Michael McCarron in Game 3, but that reportedly isn’t the reason the Canucks goalie is hurt.

The Canucks will turn to third-string goalie Arturs Silovs for Game 4. It’ll be the 23-year-old Latvian’s first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff game.

The 6-foot-4 goaltender has appeared nine career NHL regular season games, including four this season. He went 3-0-1 down the stretch, with a .881 save percentage with starting goalie Thatcher Demko out of the lineup.

Nikita Tolopilo, who had a good season in Abbotsford but has never played an NHL game, will back up Silovs today.

This marks the first time in 20 years that the Canucks have had three different starting goalies in a single playoff season. Back in 2004, Dan Cloutier, Johan Hedberg, and Alex Auld all started games for the Canucks during their first-round series against the Calgary Flames.

Jim Rutherford will hope that history repeats itself, with regards to his Pittsburgh Penguins team that had three different goalies start during the 2016 playoffs. They won the Stanley Cup that year.

As for when Thatcher Demko will return from his knee injury, that’s still up in the air. Reports suggest it’s possible he could return before the end of the second round, if the Canucks make it that far.