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Canucks being cagey about who will man the cage for tonight’s game 5

Tocchet says it will be a “game-time decision” based on health and their recent performance
Vancouver Canucks goaltender Arturs Silovs (31) blocks a shot on goal against the Nashville Predators during the second period in Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series Sunday, April 28, 2024, in Nashville, Tenn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-George Walker IV

Head coach Rick Tocchet isn’t revealing who’ll start in net for the Vancouver Canucks when they face the Nashville Predators in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series Tuesday.

The choice will be a “game-time decision” based on both the health of his goalies and their recent performances, he said.

“You look at where that person is at injury-wise, you talk to the doctor, you talk to the trainer. And then you talk to him,” Tocchet said his team skated Tuesday morning. “There has to be a three-way conversation. And then you make your decision.”

The Canucks started three different goalies in the series and each has earned a win, giving Vancouver a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven matchup.

All-star goalie Thatcher Demko was in net for Vancouver in Game 1, but sustained a lower-body injury and is currently listed as week to week.

He was replaced by Casey DeSmith, who went 1-1-0 with a 2.02 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage in Games 2 and 3 before going down with a lower-body injury.

The 32-year-old American has been working his way back to full health and will likely be dressed for Tuesday’s game, Tocchet said.

“Casey had a good day (Monday),” the coach said. “So I would foresee if he did not play, he would be a backup.”

Arturs Silovs is expected to be the other half of Vancouver’s Game 5 tandem.

Both goalies were on the ice for the morning skate.

Silovs got the start in Game 4, stopping 27 shots in his first NHL playoff appearance as the Canucks came back from a late two-goal deficit to beat the Preds 4-3 in overtime.

Vancovuer’s goalie situation is unlike anything veteran forward J.T. Miller has experienced over his 82 career playoff games.

“Maybe the starter a little bit, but never that many,” he said.

The way the netminders have responded to the adversity is important, Miller added.

“In the playoffs, it’s the next-man-up mentality, and I think that goes for the goalies too,” he said. “They’ve been unreal. I couldn’t imagine being in their spot where you do a lot of sitting around. … Those are big moments of the series.”