WASHINGTON — It took until the Capitals’ 41st and final road game of the regular season, but forward T.J. Oshie is finally returning to St. Louis for the first time in opposing colors.
The Capitals visit the Blues tonight (8 p.m., CSN), before hosting the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday in the regular-season finale. Saturday’s visit to Scottrade Center has special meaning for Oshie, who spent seven years in St. Louis before being traded to Washington last July for Troy Brouwer and goaltending prospect Pheonix Copley.
“It’s a special place for me,” said Oshie, who was the Blues’ first-round selection (24th overall) in the 2005 NHL Draft.
“It will mean a lot to go back there and you want to play good when you play your former team. I think it would have been a little more weird if we played them back in October with everything so fresh, but now that a full season has pretty much gone by, I feel like I’m at home here with Washington.”
Oshie enters the final weekend of the season with a career-high 26 goals and 50 points in 78 games in his maiden campaign with the Capitals. Oshie’s 26 goals rank second on the team this season and are the most scored by a Capitals player other than Alex Ovechkin since Alexander Semin’s 28 tallies in 2010–11.
“It will be a weird experience being on the visitor’s bench there, but I think it will be a fun game,” Oshie said. “Both teams are fighting right now — us to get our game in the right position and them to get in first place in the Central Division, so it should be a good battle.”
While the Capitals enter play Saturday looking to snap their first three-game losing streak of the season (0-1-2), the Blues can clinch the Central Division with a win over Washington combined with a Dallas loss against Nashville.
Oshie is expected to take his usual spot on the Capitals’ No. 1 line alongside Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.
“It will be weird going against some of my really good buddies, guys that were standing next to me at my wedding, but it’ll be fun,” he said. “It will be a good battle. Both me and them respect the game enough to have a hard, tight match.”
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