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Tippett laments Koskinen's 'brutal' error in loss to Rangers

Steven Ryan / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Edmonton Oilers head coach Dave Tippett wasn't pleased with goalie Mikko Koskinen's blunder that put his club behind the eight ball early in Monday's loss to the New York Rangers.

Koskinen coughed up the puck below the goal line just over five minutes into the opening frame, leading to an easy tally by Alexis Lafreniere that gave the Rangers momentum they never relinquished.

"It's a brutal mistake, what are you gonna do? Call it what it is. We're playing well, it's a brutal mistake," Tippett told reporters after the 4-1 loss.

He added: "I thought we did a lot of things well tonight. Our goaltender wasn't very good, and we didn't find enough pucks at the net to get us back in the game."

Koskinen has been Edmonton's starter for most of the season, while Mike Smith has battled an injury. The 33-year-old entered Monday's clash with a .902 save percentage this campaign, and he hasn't won in his last six appearances now.

Smith also hasn't fared well when healthy, posting a .897 save percentage across five games. Goaltending has been the Oilers' Achilles heel of late, as the club ranks 31st with 48 goals against in 13 contests since Dec. 1.

Edmonton's won only three games in that span.

"There's a lot of adversity here, we're learning a lot about our team," Tippett said. "We've been through a lot of injury issues and COVID issues. We haven't played as well as we'd like to as a group, so there's lots to improve on."

The Oilers currently own the second wild-card seed in the Western Conference with 38 points.

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