Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie suffered a broken collarbone and is almost certain to miss the remainder of the playoffs — no matter how long they last — according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.
“Obviously, this one’s for him,” center Nicklas Backstrom said.
Oshie was wearing a sling after the game, according to one person who saw him, and as he left the ice hunched over, he appeared to be clutching his right arm and shoulder. Foegele received a two-minute minor penalty for boarding, and the NHL’s Department of Player Safety didn’t consider the hit worthy of supplemental discipline. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said after the game that it was “a dirty play.”
Oshie had 25 goals and 29 assists in 69 regular season games, and 11 of the 13 games he missed were for a concussion. A top-six forward all four years he has been with Washington, Oshie skated an average of 18:37 this season, serving as a penalty killer in addition to playing on the top power-play unit. He had eight goals and 13 assists in 24 games during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup last season.
Oshie tweeted to Capitals fans Saturday afternoon.
Thanks to everyone for the get well wishes. I’m in good hands with our training staff, doctors and especially mama bear at home with her 2 little helpers. DC I need you to make some noise tonight for my boys. I want to hear you through the TV. #ALLCAPS #Back2Back @Capitals— TJ Oshie (@TJOshie77) April 20, 2019
Washington is already without top-four defenseman Michal Kempny, who tore his hamstring late in the regular season and has been ruled out for the playoffs. With Oshie sidelined for Game 5, forward Tom Wilson played on the top line with Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom. Carl Hagelin was promoted to the second line, on the right side of center Evgeny Kuznetsov and left wing Jakub Vrana. The Capitals recalled forward Devante Smith-Pelly from the American Hockey League on Friday; he starred last postseason with seven goals, and he was on the fourth line for Game 5.
“I’m not sure there’s another player that wants to play a game any more than T.J. Oshie on our team,” Reirden said Saturday. “The fact that he’s not with us is going to be a tough void to fill, but that just should hopefully push people to get to a different level and have his back, so to speak.”
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