Skip to main content


Oilers praise 'unbelievable' Skinner after crucial Game 4 victory


The first-round playoff series between the Edmonton Oilers and Los Angeles Kings has been high scoring with a combined 28 goals through the first four games.

However, in Edmonton’s 1-0 win in Game 4 on Sunday night, goaltender Stuart Skinner was the star of the show, picking up his first-ever shutout in the playoffs.

Skinner turned aside all 33 shots he faced, while Evan Bouchard’s power-play goal in the second period was the lone marker of the game. The Oilers are 8-for-15 on the power play this series but all praise following the game was saved for Skinner.

“I thought [Skinner] was unbelievable,” said Oilers defenceman Mattias Ekholm postgame. “I think he has shown that he’s taken steps as a goaltender. I think he’s way calmer. Positionally, very sound right now, and you really have to make a good play to beat him right now, which is obviously a great feeling for us knowing he’s the backbone of our team.”

Edmonton fired just 13 shots on Kings goaltender David Rittich, who made his first appearance of the series after Cam Talbot started the first three games. On special teams, the Kings failed to score on their lone power play of the game are 0-for-11 with the advantage in the postseason.

After allowing nine goals against in the first two games of the series, Skinner has been much stronger in net, allowing only one goal on 28 shots in Game 3’s 6-1 victory before picking up the shutout last night.

“Again, 'Stu' was great,” Ekholm added. “I thought our team defense was good. They obviously had more shots than us, but I thought we limited the chances that were quality. I didn’t feel like they had those unbelievable looks in front of our goaltender, which is good. This is one of those you have to squeak out.”

In the regular season, the 25-year-old appeared in a career-high 59 games, going 36-16-5 with a .905 save percentage and 2.63 goals-against average.

Now up 3-1, the Oilers look to finish off the series Wednesday night at home as they look to send the Kings packing in the first round for the third consecutive year.

“It’s the playoffs,” Edmonton forward Corey Perry said. “These are the types of games you have to win. It’s not going to be 6-5, 7-4 every night. You’re going to have to dig in and play defence and grind one out, and we found a way tonight.”