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Silovs embraces rush of Game 4 win: 'Time to shine'

Brett Carlsen / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Vancouver Canucks' crease just keeps getting thinner, but they keep finding ways to win.

Rookie Arturs Silovs was the surprise starter for Sunday's Game 4 against the Nashville Predators with Casey DeSmith injured, and the Latvian made 27 stops to help the Canucks earn a thrilling 4-3 triumph in overtime.

"I wasn't too nervous," Silovs said after the victory. "I was fine, actually. I was just doing my thing, relying on the things I've worked on. That's it."

Silovs revealed he found out on Saturday he was starting the contest.

"Time to shine, you know?" the 23-year-old joked.

The inexperienced netminder drew plenty of praise from his teammates for his performance.

"I couldn't be happier for the guy," sniper J.T. Miller said. "He's so calm. He really is, and he made some really timely saves to keep it at bay when they were really pushing today."

DeSmith's ailment appears to be minor, and he could return for Tuesday's Game 5, head coach Rick Tocchet said. His injury isn't related to a hit he took from Predators forward Michael McCarron during the Canucks' Game 3 victory, according to CHEK News' Rick Dhaliwal. The NHL fined McCarron $2,000 for goaltender interference.

DeSmith, a six-year NHL veteran, registered a .911 save percentage and 2.02 goals against average in two postseason appearances this spring.

The Canucks had to turn to DeSmith after losing starting goaltender Thatcher Demko to an apparent knee injury after Game 1. Demko missed 14 games down the stretch in the regular season due to another injury to the same knee, reports TSN's Farhan Lalji.

Silovs recorded an .881 save percentage and 2.47 goals against average in four outings this campaign. Vancouver selected the 23-year-old Latvian in the sixth round of the 2019 NHL Draft.

Nikita Tolopilo, a 24-year-old with no NHL experience, backed up Silovs in Game 4. He spent this season with the AHL's Abbotsford Canucks, registering a .905 save percentage in 35 appearances.

The Canucks can end the series with a Game 5 win on Tuesday.

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