Oilers changing goalie vs. Blackhawks, Mikko Koskinen starts Game 2


Ahead of Monday's Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers against the Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers head coach Dave Tippett announced that goalie Mikko Koskinen will start in net.

The Hawks chased Mike Smith, the Oilers' starter for Game 1, from Saturday's contest in the second period after giving up his fifth goal of the game.

Chicago saw Smith exit and Koskinen relieve him after Dominik Kubalik scored his first of two power-play goals in the game at 6:32 of the second. The Blackhawks scored four-unanswered first-period goals on Smith after Edmonton captain Connor McDavid scored 2:34 into the game on a power play. The Hawks went on to win Game 1 6-4.

Related: Dominik Kubalik and Jonathan Toews lift Blackhawks over Oilers in Game 1

Koskinen made 18 saves on 19 shots in 30:46 after Smith allowed five goals on 23 shots on Saturday.

The Oilers are the third team in which Tippett has coached Smith. The two were also members of the Dallas Stars and Arizona Coyotes' organizations together.

Ahead of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, Tippett said both goalies would see the net against the Blackhawks. But, it seems that the Hawks' offensive explosion in Game 1 may have forced his hand in how he's managing Edmonton's net for Game 2.

Before Saturday, Smith had 24 games of NHL postseason experience to Koskinen's zero.

Smith was 19-12-6 with a 2.95 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage in 39 games (37 starts) with the Oilers in his first year with the team for the 2019-20 season. Koskinen was 18-13-3 with a 2.75 goals-against average and a .917 save percentage in 38 games (34 starts) in his second regular season in Edmonton.


Game 2 begins at 9:30 p.m. CT on Monday. 

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