Early in his tenure with the Washington Capitals, forward T.J. Oshie might have looked for his linemates a little too much on the ice. That arguably comes with the territory in playing with two talents in Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, and they had to encourage him not to defer so much.
“Sometimes, it’s still there,” Oshie said. “When you get the puck, you’re always thinking, ‘Where’s [number] eight?’”
On Saturday night, Backstrom and Ovechkin wanted to get the puck to No. 77. After Oshie scored two first-period goals, his linemates tried and tried to set up his first hat trick of the season. With less than a minute left in the team’s game against Tampa Bay, Backstrom fed Oshie to dump a puck into an empty net. With those three goals, Oshie set a career high and also took over the team lead in goals with 29.
“It feels good,” Oshie said. “For sure, this is something that I’ve worked for. Also, I’m playing with some pretty good players around me who have done a good job getting me the puck in scoring areas. It’s a combination of things, but I’m happy for it.”
Oshie is likely to become the Capitals’ first 30-goal scorer other than Ovechkin since the 2009-10 season, and if he maintains the team lead in goals, it will mark the first time Ovechkin hasn’t finished the season with that title since joining the team 12 years ago.
After finally finding a top-line winger to consistently play alongside Ovechkin and Backstrom, Washington will have to consider how …
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