Stuart Skinner blanks Kings as Edmonton Oilers win Game 4

Stuart Skinner made 33 saves for his first career playoff shutout as the Edmonton Oilers blanked the Los Angeles Kings 1-0, Sunday night.

“I’ve changed a lot,” Skinner said after the game when asked about his growth as a goaltender. “That’s going through all of the experiences that I’ve been able to go through the past year. And when you use those things to learn and grow as a person, as a teammate, as a player — you’re going to keep getting better and I think that’s what I’m going to keep doing.”

“I know they had a lot of shots, I think a lot of them were from the perimeter, but he did make a lot of key saves for us,” Oilers head coach Kris Knoblauch said when asked about Skinner’s performance. “And even the rebound control — his game was really good and I don’t think anyone questioned if he was ever going to make the next save, and we’re very pleased to have him playing the way he did tonight.”

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The Oilers lead the best-of-seven series 3-1.

The Kings outshot the Oilers 10-4 in the first period, although the Oilers had a couple of great chances. Leon Draisaitl went in on a partial breakaway, but David Rittich made a left pad save. In the final seconds of the first, Connor McDavid found Brett Kulak going to the net, but Kulak couldn’t handle the pass cleanly.

Click to play video: 'Oilers playoff series lead to boost in local business'
Oilers playoff series lead to boost in local business

Andreas Englund was slapped with the game’s first penalty halfway through the second, when he was charged with holding Ryan McLeod. Evan Bouchard made him pay on the resulting power play, bombing a point shot past Rittich’s blocker.

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The Kings kept the pressure on in the third, forcing Skinner to make several sharp saves. With 11:11 to go, Kulak was penalized for high sticking. The Oilers penalty kill remained perfect for the series, denying the Kings even a shot on goal.

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Rittich was pulled for an extra attacker with 1:25 to go, but the Kings couldn’t muster a good scoring chance.

“It was hard fought to the end,” Oilers defenceman Mattias Ekholm said. “Obviously they came in waves, but I thought we held our own. I thought we weren’t just taking on water. There were maybe times where we would have liked to have held onto the puck a bit more in the offensive zone. But, hey, we scored a lot of goals the first three games, it’s nice to see we can win games this way too.”

With 13 shots on goal, the Oilers tied a team record for fewest shots in a playoff game.

“It’s frustrating,” Kings head coach Jim Hiller said. “Disappointing is a really good word. Guys played hard; we had to play this kind of game. This is a game we’ve got to take with us to Edmonton now. Disappointed we’re not 2-2, but we’ve got to go play this game in Edmonton now. That’s the only choice we have. We didn’t get it done, even though we had a pretty good crack at getting it done.”

The Oilers can win the series when they host on the Kings on Wednesday. The game time has not been announced.

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