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Oilers’ backup goalie Calvin Pickard confirms he’ll start Game 4 against Canucks



Oilers’ backup goalie Calvin Pickard confirms he’ll start Game 4 against Canucks

Journeyman goaltender Calvin Pickard, who simply two days in the past made his first-ever look in an NHL playoff sport, will begin in objective for the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday evening because the group faces off towards the Vancouver Canucks in Sport 4 of the collection.

“Undoubtedly excited and positively on the lookout for a win,” Pickard instructed reporters at Rogers Place on Tuesday morning after confirming he was instructed a day earlier he could be getting the Sport 4 begin as a substitute of the group’s traditional No. 1 goaltender Stuart Skinner.

“(It is a) good alternative for us to vary the story of the collection.”

Edmonton Oilers goalie Calvin Pickard (30) defends the objective towards the Dallas Stars in the course of the second interval an NHL hockey sport in Dallas, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024.

AP Picture/LM Otero

The Oilers face stress to carry out in Sport 4 after falling behind 2-1 within the all-Canadian collection with a loss to the Canucks on Sunday evening. Throughout that sport, Skinner was pulled after permitting 4 objectives on 15 pictures and Pickard briefly got here on the ice to alleviate Skinner in objective.

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“I do know I can play at this stage,” Pickard stated Tuesday. “This yr I proved it to myself and everybody round me.

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“I really feel like I’m prepared.”

Pickard, a 32-year-old netminder who signed with the Oilers in the summertime of 2022, stated getting on the ice throughout a playoff sport on Sunday “was good.”

“I didn’t really feel too labored up,” he stated, noting he had not performed in a sport in a while.

“Tonight’s a giant sport for me … excited for the problem.”

After Sunday’s 4-3 loss, Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch expressed confidence in each Skinner and Pickard.

“Both man that we select may get the job achieved,” he stated.

Through the common season, Pickard performed in 20 video games for the Oilers, ending with a 12-7-1 report, together with a 2.45 goals-against common and a .909 save share.

Pickard signed with the Oilers throughout the identical low season that the membership signed Jack Campbell to a long-term contract with many anticipating the latter participant to fill the beginning netminder function.

After the Oilers’ troublesome begin to the 2023-24 common season, which noticed Campbell and Skinner battle, Campbell was assigned to the Oilers’ American Hockey League affiliate in November and Pickard was delivered to Alberta’s capital to again up Skinner.

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“I’m anticipating what I’ve seen from Calvin all season — a goaltender who’s competed very laborious, performed very properly for us and piled up plenty of victories,” Knoblauch stated Tuesday.

“It’s not a really perfect state of affairs, he hasn’t been taking part in for a very long time. However he’s gone lengthy stretches with out taking part in and I believe the group has plenty of confidence in Calvin when he has performed. And he’s going to be our man.”

Pickard’s anticipated adversary within the Canucks’ web on Tuesday evening is rookie goaltender Arturs Silovs who continues to impress in Vancouver’s objective whereas starter Thatcher Demko is sidelined with an damage.

Silovs made 42 saves, together with 21 within the third interval, in Sunday’s sport towards the Oilers.

— with recordsdata from The Canadian Press

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