Washington Capitals: T.J. Oshie will be a major strength against Penguins

The Washington Capitals take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in a few hours. The one player to watch tonight isn’t Alex Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby but we are treated to watch them too. The one player to watch is Penguin killer T.J. Oshie.

Oshie ended a nine game goal less drought with two power play goals in Sunday’s win over the New Jersey Devils. His first goal came on a deflection from a John Carlson shot. His second goal came on a shot from the middle.

Oshie’s two goal performance against the Devils was his first multi goal game of the season. Per the game notes, since the 2015-16 season, Oshie ranks second on the Caps with 132 goals behind Ovechkin (237 goals). He is one of 38 players with over 130 goals in the last six seasons.

Since 2015-16, his first season with the Caps, Oshie has scored 132 goals on 759 shots (17.4 percent). That’s the third highest shooting percentage in the NHL among players with at least 130 goals during that span.

Oshie has played in 33 career games against the Penguins. He’s scored 14 goals and added 17 assists for 31 points. Last season Oshie scored 26 goals which was the second straight season he scored at least 25 goals. 10 of those goals came on the power play which was his most since 2015-16.

This season Oshie ranks third among Caps forwards with 18:31 minutes of ice time per game. With 31 hits, Oshie ranks sixth on the team in that category. In addition to two goals against the Devils the other day, Oshie had an assist. His three point game was the 34th occassion of his career.

Oshie’s most memorable game against the Penguins came in Game 1 of the second round in 2016 during his first season with the Caps. In that game he recorded a hat trick including the game winning goal in overtime. He became a Penguins killer ever since.

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Oshie skated on the third line with Richard Panik and Nicklas Backstrom during Tuesday’s morning skate. That will likely be his spot in the lineup tonight. For Backstrom, he moves to the third line while Lars Eller moves up to the top line.

With four goals and eight assists in 16 games on the young season so far, Oshie needs to continue his momentum so the Caps can protect him in the Seattle expansion draft. It would be sad if the team lost him to the Kraken. In the meantime though, at least we can enjoy Oshie while he’s here.

You can catch Oshie and the Caps tonight at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington.