Oilers’ Mike Smith named starter for Game 1 vs. Blackhawks


Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith pauses during the second period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019, in Las Vegas. (David Becker / AP)

Mike Smith has been named the Edmonton Oilers starting goaltender for Game 1 of their Stanley Cup qualifier against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Tippett decided to start Mikko Koskinen in the team’s only exhibition game against the Calgary Flames and he stopped all 17 shots he faced. Smith entered the game at the halfway mark, facing 20 shots and allowing a goal in the Oilers’ 4-1 win.

In 39 games this season, Smith has a 12-12-6 record with a 295 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage.

“I really believe I play my best hockey in the playoffs, and obviously Mikko has played well and wants to play also,” Smth said about the battle for the starting job in the Oilers’ crease. “It will be a healthy competition, like it has been all season long.”

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