Stuart Skinner will start for the Oilers in Game 4

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Nestler
24 days ago
Edmonton Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch confirmed Tuesday that Stuart Skinner will get the start in goal for Game 4 against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday. 
Skinner has started the past five games for Edmonton, going 3-2 over that span. He helped the Oilers eliminate the Vancouver Canucks winning Games 6 and 7 of the second round and has gone 1-2 in the first three games of the Western Conference Final against Dallas. 
After a stellar performance in the double-overtime Game 1 win in Dallas (33 saves on 25 shots, .939 save percentage), Skinner has been up and down in the two straight losses. In Game 2, the 25-year-old stopped 24 of 26 shots (.917 save percentage) before Dallas scored into an empty net to seal the win. But in Game 4 on Monday, he allowed four goals on only 25 shots (.810 save percentage) in a 5-3 loss, including a deep slap shot over the glove in the second and a bad-angle game-winner in the third period from Jason Robertson. 
Skinner has taken loads of criticism for his playoff struggles. And why wouldn’t he? He has one of the worst playoff save percentages in the salary-cap era (.885). This year, he has continued to struggle more often than not. In 13 games, he has gone 8-5 with a .885 save percentage and 3.68 goals-against average. He ranks second from the bottom in save percentage among all goalies who played at least five games during these playoffs. 
That said, Skinner’s numbers over his past five games have improved, and he has posted a .900 save percentage.
Knoblauch did opt to sit Skinner earlier in the playoffs, replacing him with 32-year-old Calvin Pickard in the third period of Game 3. Pickard stopped all three shots in the period and was given the chance to start the next two games. He was solid in both, stopping 19 of 21 (.905 save percentage) in a Game 4 win and 32 of 35 (.914) in the Game 5 loss that gave the Canucks a 3-2 series lead. Despite Pickard playing well, Knoblauch decided to return to Skinner in the series’ final two games. 
Skinner and the Oilers will look to win Game 4 against Dallas to avoid falling into the usually lethal 3-1 series hole.

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