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'Play my game, trust in myself:' Canucks rookie Silovs ready for big stage in Game 7 against the Oilers

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Preparing to start in game seven against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night, Vancouver Canucks rookie netminder Arturs Silovs is ready to meet the pressure of the biggest moment of his brief National Hockey League playoff career.

“I think we just have to face it, right? Every single game there is going to be pressure. It doesn’t matter who you play or what you play for. It’s always going to be like that,” Silovs said when asked about it.

The Canucks battled hard throughout the regular season to win the Pacific Division and gain home ice advantage in case of this exact scenario.

“Playoffs, you never know. Both teams want to win, to advance. It’s a game of wills, right?” Silovs said. “I mean, we have an advantage. Game seven at home with the crowd like this. I am sure we are all going to be energized for tomorrow’s game.”

The 23-year-old Latvian and his team would like to meet the Dallas Stars in the conference finals starting on Thursday.

But in order for that to happen, he and the Canucks will need to play better than they did in Saturday’s 5-1 loss to Edmonton, when they had the opportunity to eliminate the Oilers.

“You know, it’s not easy to play an away game, they are on the brink of elimination,” Silovs said following practice at Rogers Arena Sunday. “Things happened. It didn’t go our way. I probably could stop maybe more. And tomorrow’s a new chance.”

Injuries to starter Thatcher Demko and backup Casey DeSmith forced the Canucks to start Silovs in game four of the opening round against the Nashville Predators.

It was his first ever appearance in the NHL playoffs.

Thanks in part to a strong performance from Silovs, the Canucks won that game in overtime and the net has belonged to him ever since.

He now has five career playoff wins which is good enough for sixth all-time among Canucks goalies – and two more than Demko who remains injured and is unavailable for game seven.

That didn’t stop Head coach Rick Tocchet from having a little fun with the media during a news conference on Sunday afternoon.

“Before we start – Demko is starting tomorrow,” the coach said as he sat down at the microphone.

The startling statement about the possible sudden reemergence of the Canucks Vezina candidate goalie momentarily shocked the assembled media before Tocchet clarified that he was joking.

The coach later said he has confidence in Silovs and believes he is capable of rising to the occasion in the biggest test he’s faced in a hockey rink so far.

“Two week ago, same thing. You’re in. And he played in a playoff game. He dealt with it than,” Tocchet said. “It’s no different for game seven. Same thing. Same bright lights. Same pressure. And he’s dealt with it, you know. He’s had a crash course.”

Silovs, who has been seemingly unfazed by the pressure of playoffs, doesn’t plan to change his approach now.

“Play my game. Trust in myself and things are going to happen,” he said.

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