Edmonton Oilers making goalie change. Backup Calvin Pickard will start Game 4 against the Canucks

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — The Edmonton Oilers will start Calvin Pickard in net for Game 4 of their playoff series with the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night.

The 32-year-old journeyman netminder replaces Stuart Skinner, who was pulled in the third period of Edmonton’s 4-3 loss to Vancouver on Sunday after giving up four goals on 15 shots.

Edmonton trails Vancouver 2-1 in the best-of-seven second-round playoff series.

“I’m expecting what I’ve seen from Calvin all season — a goaltender who’s competed very hard, played very well for us and piled up a lot of victories,” Oilers coach Kris Knoblauch said of the change.

“It’s not an ideal situation, he hasn’t been playing for a long time. But he’s gone long stretches without playing and I think the team has a lot of confidence in Calvin when he has played. And he’s going to be our guy.”

Pickard is making his first start in the NHL playoffs after making 20 appearances for the Oilers in the regular season. He went 12-7-1 with a 2.45 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage.

“It’s exciting, obviously. All you can ask for is an opportunity in the Stanley Cup playoffs,” Pickard said after the morning skate Tuesday. “I felt like I had a good season and the preparation’s done. I’m excited to get out there.”

Pickard signed with the Oilers as a free agent in July 2022 and has spent much of his tenure with the organization playing for the Bakersfield Condors in the American Hockey League.

Pickard said making it to a playoff start hasn’t been easy.

“I know I can play at this level and this year I proved it to myself and everybody around me,” he said. “It’s a really good opportunity for me tonight and I feel like I’m ready.”


AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

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