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.
On Sunday, the team announced that Oshie had surgery on his fractured right clavicle with an indefinite timetable for return. Coach Todd Reirden said the procedure was Friday and Oshie is “back home and rehabbing.” Oshie was pushed into the boards by Carolina Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele in the third period of Thursday’s Game 4. The Capitals dedicated their 6-0 victory in Game 5 on Saturday night to Oshie, whose name was chanted repeatedly by the Capital One Arena crowd in the third period.
“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.
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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