Demko makes 36 saves for Canucks in 4-3 win over Sabres

Published 1:09 a.m. ET Jan. 19, 2019 | Updated 3:45 a.m. ET Jan. 19, 2019

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Thatcher Demko was nervous before stepping on the ice.

It sure didn’t show.

The 23-year-old goalie made 36 saves in his second NHL game, leading the Vancouver Canucks to a 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.

“An opportunity for me,” Demko said. “I’m just really excited and wanted to make the most of it.”

Alex Edler, Sven Baertschi, Brock Boeser and Loui Eriksson scored for Vancouver. Bo Horvat had two assists.

Buffalo got goals from Evan Rodrigues, Kyle Okposo and Sam Reinhart. Linus Ullmark stopped 19 shots.

“For a large majority of the game we played the way we wanted to, but those mistakes we’re making are just a little too big,” Reinhart said. “I’m sure we can correct and we are going to.”

Demko, who made one appearance for the Canucks last season, was called up Jan. 4 from the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League after Vancouver traded backup goalie Anders Nilsson to Ottawa.

“I’ve been working hard and just patiently waiting for that first chance,” Demko said.

He was tested early and often Friday, and his performance had the crowd…

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