Forward T.J. Oshie skated on his own before the Capitals’ practice on Sunday, but he won’t accompany the team to New York for Washington’s Monday night game against the Islanders. That’ll be the third straight game Oshie will miss with an undisclosed “upper-body” injury that’s considered day-to-day.
Because the Capitals won’t have another skate or practice before Tuesday’s home game against the Colorado Avalanche, it seems unlikely Oshie will play in that game either. His skate on Sunday morning was his first since he got hurt against the San Jose Sharks on Monday, when Joe Thornton’s backside crunched Oshie’s head against the glass.
Through 28 games, Oshie has 10 goals and 13 assists this season, the first of the eight-year deal he signed this summer. He is coming off a career year last season, when he scored 33 goals in 68 games. Four of the 14 games he missed were due to a concussion, and the other 10 were for a shoulder injury.
With Oshie out, forward Alex Chiasson has been the second-line right wing beside Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jakub Vrana, and Brett Connolly has temporarily replaced Oshie on the top power-play unit, where he occupies the “diamond” position directly in front of the net. The Capitals are riding a four-game winning streak.
With Oshie hurt, Washington doesn’t have an extra forward on the roster, and the team is unlikely to recall one for the time being. The Capitals have roughly $368,000 in salary cap space, significantly less than what’s needed to bring up a player making the league minimum.