Fri, Nov 09, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Oshie returns to lift Caps over Penguins in closing moments


T.J. Oshie watched the clock in the training room hoping he would get back on the ice.

Oshie was back there for a second time on Wednesday night after he took a shoulder to the head from Evgeni Malkin that made an earlier stick to the face seem like an afterthought.

With Malkin ejected for the illegal check to the head, Oshie returned to score late and lift the Washington Capitals over the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 in a meeting of the two most recent Stanley Cup champions.

The Capitals forward needed two stitches to close a cut by his left eye and went through concussion protocol before returning to the game and becoming the hero by scoring with 1 minute, 14 seconds left.

Oshie did not care much what happens next to Malkin, who could get a hearing with the NHL department of safety. Oshie’s focus is solely on Washington winning their second in a row.

“My face is a little messed up, but I’m feeling pretty good now,” Oshie said. “He caught me there, and it is what it is. I passed my concussion test, went out and won the game.”

After Oshie took Olli Maatta’s stick to the face in the opening minutes, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin traded power-play goals in a vintage showcase of their career-long rivalry.

While he sat waiting to return to the game, Oshie heard about how goaltender Braden Holtby was standing on his head to keep the Capitals in the game.

Holtby stopped 41 of the 42 shots he faced for his first win since Oct. 22. He got some help from the post on almost a half-dozen occasions, but Holtby also turned in his best performance of the season.

The Penguins dominated for much of the night and still lost their fifth consecutive game. They have just one point during the skid and face the possibility of being without Malkin in the near future.

Pittsburgh outshot Washington 42-22 and got 20 saves from Casey DeSmith in his first career start against the Capitals. He was powerless to stop Oshie’s goal after a pass from John Carlson gave him a wide-open net.

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