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Oilers' Skinner to start must-win Game 6 vs. Canucks


Stuart Skinner practiced in the starters net at the Edmonton Oilers optional skate and has been officially named the team's starter as they try to avoid elimination against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.

“Stu had a couple days to reset and evaluate his game and spend some time on the ice and finding his game. We’ve seen Stu play unbelievable, really well for us, steal games, just solid," Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said at his media availability on Sunday. "He’s been our guy all year. So given a situation like this, that’s who we want in net."

Calvin Pickard has started the past two games for the Oilers, going 1-1 with a .911 save percentage and a 2.52 goals-against average.

Skinner last started in Game 3 of the series, allowing four goals on 15 shots before being pulled in favour of Pickard. He has allowed 12 goals on 58 shots in three starts against the Canucks. 

I'm very excited to get back in the net. Excited to get to do my job again," Skinner told the media on Saturday morning. "

“It was tough just because you want to be in there," he said. "But at the same time, I was just ecstatic for Calvin. He played incredible, the guys played really well, he got us tied at 2-2 and he got his job done.”

Overall, the 25-year-old has a 3.22 GAA and .877 save percentage in eight playoff games this season. The Edmonton native posted a 36-26-5 record with a 2.62 GAA and .905 save percentage in 59 regular season games this season. 

"Confidence is high. We have a lot of faith in this team," Knoblauch said.

The Canucks lead the series 3-2 with a chance to close it out on the road and meet the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Finals.