With the series tied at two games apiece, the Edmonton Oilers have a big goaltending question looming over their heads before the Los Angeles Kings make their way to Rogers Place for Game 5.
Sunday night’s dramatic Game 4 win got off to a bad start for Edmonton as starting goalie Stuart Skinner let in three goals in 11 shots in the first period.
After Jack Campbell replaced the struggling rookie in the second, Edmonton fought the large deficit with a goal from Evan Bouchard and two from Leon Draisaitl to tie the game. Both teams exchanged goals in the third to force overtime.
Oilers forward Zach Hyman sealed the deal in the extra period, allowing Edmonton to complete the comeback and walk out of Cyrpto.com Arena with a win.
Campbell, who saw 28 shots against, only let one goal past him in his first playoff appearance this year.
Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft was asked about his mid-game change, claiming the move was his attempt at shifting momentum.
“I have belief in both of our goaltenders. That’s not assigning any blame on Stuart for the way the first period went, but I felt our team needed a little change in momentum and give us a different kind of look,” Woodcroft said.
Campbell was put into the game to start the second period by Oilers coach Jay, who thought it was best for Skinner to finish the period before pulling him.
“The only debate I had was when I was going to do it (…) We decided to wait until we could get into the room. once we did that, we took off from there.”
Woodcroft gave a vague response when asked who would start Game 5 in Edmonton. “We’ll sleep on things and see where we’re at after that,” the coach told reporters.
The choice won’t be an easy one. On the one hand, at 31 years old, Campbell, a former member of the Kings, brings playoff experience to the Oilers’ crease. He started every game for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2021 and 2022 postseasons. While both ended in Game 7 losses, Campbell’s first postseason run concluded with an impressive 1.81 GAA and .934 SV%.
His most recent regular season campaign, though, was not as promising. Over 36 games this past season, Campbell posted a 3.41 GAA and .888 SV%.
Meanwhile, over 48 starts this year, Skinner earned a Calder trophy nomination, collecting 29 wins and .913 SV%. The rookie’s playoff debut has not been as solid, though. Over four starts, Skinner has only walked away with one win and an SV% of .881.