T.J. Oshie’s ability to dazzle in the shootout has followed him to Washington. After Wednesday’s tilt against Carolina went to a shootout, Oshie was the first shooter for the Capitals and put an absolutely incredible move on Eddie Lack before rifling the puck home.
The Capitals’ swap with the Blues, which saw Troy Brouwer head west in exchange T.J. Oshie, was a deal made primarily to give Washington a top-line right winger with a bit more offensive talent. But in landing Oshie, the Capitals also managed to acquire one of the most effective shootout weapons in the game. Wednesday night, he showed why he’s heralded as one of the game’s most lethal breakaway players.
In the pre-season tilt between Carolina and Washington, regulation solved nothing and the teams played through overtime without either side breaking the draw. With the shootout underway, Oshie was the first Capital to get an attempt, and he made no mistake.
(Video and GIF via Russian Machine Never Breaks)
While the move was incredible, it would end up as nothing more than one highlight in a game the Capitals would go on to lose. Jeff Skinner would score in the very next round for the Hurricanes and, in the fourth round of the shootout, Nathan Gerbe fired home the game-winning shootout tally past Washington netminder Justin Peters.
Oshie’s shootout prowess is most remembered for his clutch performance at the 2014 Olympics, when he scored four goals in the skills competition to vault Team USA past the host, Team Russia. But in the NHL, he’s been just as effective.
Since the shootout was introduced in 2005-06, Oshie is one of 138 players to take at least 20 attempts in the shootout. Of those, only five players have maintained a shooting percentage above 50 percent: Jakob Silfverberg (60.9), Slava Kozlov (58.7), Frans Nielsen (52.8), Erik Christensen (52.7) and Oshie (52.5). But of those, Nielsen and Oshie have been the most effective players when it comes to putting the game to an end — each has scored 16 game-winning shootout goals.