Demko out 6 weeks for Canucks with lower-body injury

VANCOUVER — Thatcher Demko is expected to be out 6 weeks for the Vancouver Canucks because a lower-body injury.

The goalie left late in the first period of a 5-1 home loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday. He wasn’t putting any weight on his right leg and needed help getting off the ice after Ryan Lomberg scored with 47 seconds left in the period, the third goal for Florida in 59 seconds.

Demko was forced to move side to side on his knees several times in that time span but appeared to injure himself stretching out his right pad on the initial save.

“A lot of teams have lot of injuries, and we’ll overcome and we’ll be better for it, and he’ll be better for it in the end when he’s healthy,” Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau said Saturday.

Demko allowed three goals on 18 shots before being relieved by Spencer Martin, who made 12 saves.

“He’s a competitive guy and wants to be part of the team, obviously, and these things happen,” Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes said. “Injuries, and it is what it is, but we’ll definitely be trying to do the best we can while he’s out and we’ll be looking forward to when he’s back.”

Demko, 26, is 3-10-2 with a 3.93 goals-against average and .883 save percentage in 15 games this season. Martin, 27, is 6-2-1 with a 3.21 GAA and ,900 save percentage in 10 games (nine starts).

“I’ve been getting some reps already, getting some minutes to start the year, so if the minutes do go up — and I still don’t know what the exact situation is — but I feel like I’m ready,” Martin said Friday.

Collin Delia was recalled from Abbotsford of the American Hockey League on Friday and will back up Martin. He is 5-3-0 with a 3.44 GAA and .884 save percentage in eight AHL games this season.

“If I was Spencer, I’d be going, ‘OK, now’s my chance to prove to the world that I’m not a backup, I’m a great goaltender,'” Boudreau said. “He’s proven it already to us but now he can prove it to everybody.”

Asked if the Canucks have confidence in Martin, Hughes said, “He’s played great. He’s a hardworking guy, competitive, and he’s been great for us all year, so to answer your question, a lot of confidence.”

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