One night, T.J. Oshie was knocked out twice but still saved the day.
The date was November 7, 2018 and the Washington Capitals were up against their arch enemies the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was a close contest that ultimately came down to the wire and T.J. Oshie overcame not one but two injuries to save the night and send the Caps fans home happy.
With 15:26 to go in the first period, Olli Maata high sticked Oshie after a face-off, clipping his stick right on Oshie’s nose below the eye. Oshie fell on the ground and you could hear a pin drop inside Capital One Arena. He headed off the ice and into the trainer’s room.
At 11:33 Jakub Vrana was called for tripping, putting the Penguins on the power play. They struck first thanks to a goal from Sidney Crosby at 12:16 and 1-0 Pittsburgh would be the score after the first period.
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At the start of the second period, Oshie was back in the game. At 6:33 the Caps went to the power play after Crosby was called for hooking. The Caps answered by a goal from Alex Ovechkin right from the office at the left face-off circle. John Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom had the helpers.
1-1 would be the score heading into the third period. In that final frame, Oshie took a shoulder to the face from Evgeni Malkin with 16:33 left and Caps fans weren’t happy. Malkin wasn’t punished by the NHL Department of Player Safety for the intentional cheap shot but he did get ejected from the game.
“He maybe thought I was coming to hit him and so he threw the reverse shoulder out there, which I try to do that all the time. I just wasn’t expecting it being on the PK,” said Oshie after the game to the AP.
“That’s definitely a blow to the head. Those are things we’re trying to remove from the game. … We’re just really fortunate that it wasn’t something that was more serious and he was able to come back,” added Caps head coach Todd Reirden.
Oshie would come back in the game and deliver with the game-winning goal. He made a nice cut from the left face-off circle toward the net and got a pass from John Carlson that he buried in with 1:14 to go.
Braden Holtby had the start in goal for the Caps and made 41 saves to keep the team in the game for a .976 save percentage. There is nothing better than beating the Penguins and this win was one of the biggest highlights of last season.