After Friday’s practice, Washington Capitals head coach Spencer Carbery said to the media that T.J. Oshie is available to suit up for tonight’s game between the Caps and the New York Rangers. As a result the team sent Hendrix Lapierre to the Hershey Bears.
Friday’s practice was an optional skate while this morning at MedStar Capitals Iceplex was a fully participated morning skate. Oshie got hurt in the Black Friday game which resulted in a 5-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. The right winger was cross checked to the face and no penalty was called.
Oshie was out during the five game road trip and their Thursday game against the Dallas Stars, missing a total of six games. He scored his first goal of the season on Thanksgiving Eve in a win over the Buffalo Sabres.
The collision in the injury came from the stick of Mattias Ekholm. I could see Oshie skating on the second line with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Sonny Milano tonight. Milano draws back in after serving a healthy scratch on Thursday.
Kuznetsov was healthy scratched on Monday but came back into the lineup Thursday in what was his 700th NHL game. Despite the shootout loss, Kuznetsov had a sweet breakaway goal with the goal of it being the first of more to come.
Although Oshie has just one goal this season so far, tonight he plays a Rangers team that he usually has success against. A couple of years ago in what was a game known for all the fights in it, Oshie had a hat trick.
Kuznetsov may have a big game as well. In the offseason he spoke with a Russian hockey podcast and said that current Rangers head coach Peter Laviolette, who coached the Caps the last three seasons, didn’t fit the style of their team.
The Rangers sit in first place in the Metropolitan Division so if you’re saying that right before the season starts about your former coach, that means you need to have a big game.