Mike Smith will be back in net for Edmonton Oilers in Game 2 against Flames

Mike Smith will start in goal for the Edmonton Oilers Friday night in Game 2 of their series against the Calgary Flames.

Smith was pulled in Game 1 on Wednesday after allowing three goals on 10 shots. The Oilers wound up losing 9-6.

Edmonton Oilers goalie Mike Smith cools off with water after letting in a goal during first period NHL second round playoff hockey action against the Calgary Flames in Calgary, Wednesday, May 18, 2022.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

“Mike is quite clear on the team’s faith in him and certainly the coaching staff’s faith in him as well,” said Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft.

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“The message from me is I want to go out there and be the backbone and help this team stay calm and show that by my play, not by what I’m saying in the locker-room,” Smith said Thursday. “Obviously, that didn’t (happen) last night.

“We’ll regroup today and be better because of it.”

Read more: Battle of Alberta Game 1 sees Oilers lose 9-6 to Flames

The Oilers were hemmed in their own end for much of Game 1. They were outshot 48-28 and committed numerous turnovers in the face of Calgary’s heavy forecheck.

“I really believe we have to get back to defending properly,” Woodcroft explained. “That is something we’ve hung our hat on here for the last three months or so. I think it’s what has led to some of our success.

“We feel we’re going to score enough to win games. For us, our work back to our own end, our detail in our end, is an area of improvement we’re going to focus on.”

“If they won it 2-1 or 9-6, it’s still one win,” Smith said. “You have to win four. It’s about regrouping now, not letting that affect the rest of the series.”

The Oilers have seen an old problem resurface in the playoffs: poor starts to games. They were trailing 2-0 before Wednesday’s contest was one minute old.

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“It’s to a man to be ready to compete right from the drop of the puck,” Smith said. “We’re in the second round of the playoffs now. There are no surprises.

“You would think everyone is prepared and ready to go from the get-go. It’s been somewhat of an issue for our group in the games that we have lost.”

Woodcroft said they’ll decide on Friday if there will be any lineup changes.

You can listen to live coverage of Friday’s game on 630 CHED beginning with The Faceoff Show at 6 p.m. while the actual game starts at 8:30 p.m.

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