Friday, April 11
April 11, 6:13 PM ET
Demitra plays in win over Canucks
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Pavol Demitra has a special
gift for his newborn son, Lukas.
The St. Louis Blues center flew home for the birth of his first
child Wednesday, then returned to Vancouver in time to post two
assists in his team's 6-0 victory over the Canucks on Thursday
night to open the NHL playoffs.
"It was a special game," Demitra said. "It was great. I'm
saving that stick for him."
Demitra, the Blues' leading scorer during the regular season,
boarded a chartered jet paid for by the team Wednesday afternoon
and flew to St. Louis. He arrived around 6 p.m. and was with his
wife, Maja, for the birth of their son at around 8:45 p.m.
"I got home before everything started," he said. "It was
He spent the night in St. Louis, went to the hospital Thursday
morning, then got back on the jet. He arrived in Vancouver about
two hours before the game.
"I hadn't had much sleep the night before but I got a couple of
hours on the plane," he said.
"I was very excited. It was my first child and everything was
good. Everything went well and that gave me energy for the game. It
was a big game."
Demitra scored 36 goals and 57 assists for 93 points during the
Against the Canucks, he logged more than 18 minutes of ice time,
had two shots and assisted on goals by Keith Tkachuk and Alexander
Tkachuk said Demitra was fueled by excitement.
"You could tell the way he was jumping out there," Tkachuk
said. "It was a long day for him. He played on a lot of adrenaline
and he played well. That's why he was our best player this year."
Coach Joel Quenneville was worried Demitra might not make it in
time for the game.
"That was refreshing for our team when he did get back and was
able to play," Quenneville said. "He is important in a lot of
ways for our team, be it offensively or just making that top line
go. He was huge addition and proved some excitement within the