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Alex Ovechkin on T.J. Oshie's offensive outburst: 'Ka-ching'

Alex Ovechkin on T.J. Oshie's offensive outburst: 'Ka-ching'

T.J. Oshie sure picked a fine time to enjoy the best year of his career.

He knows it.

And his teammates know it, too.

“It’s huge, especially in the last year of his deal,” captain Alex Ovechkin cracked after Tuesday’s 4-2 win over the Flames. “It’s ka-ching.”

Indeed, Oshie’s gonna get paid this summer, whether it’s in Washington or elsewhere.

RELATED: Shattenkirk scores first goal for the Capitals...or did he?

As for the here and now, though, no one on the Caps is scoring goals at a rate close to Oshie's.

The 30-year-old winger scored again Tuesday, upping his season total to 30. That’s the most on the Caps and four more than he scored last year, his previous career-high.

“Obviously happy for Osh [who] get first time 30 goals,” said Ovechkin, who set up Oshie’s tally with a slick pass. “Good for him and good for us.”

How good has Oshie been this season? Consider:

  • He’s the first player other than Ovechkin to score 30 goals in a season for the Caps since 2009-10, when Alexander Semin notched 40 and Nicklas Backstrom potted 33.
  • Oshie has 15 points in his last 14 games (10 goals and five assists).
  • Since Dec. 31, Oshie has 20 goals. That’s six more than any of his teammates. And, oh yeah, he missed six games during that span.

Prior to joining the Caps, Oshie topped the 20-goal plateau just once in seven seasons with the Blues.

“Osh has found the ability to score a little bit more than the last couple of years,” Coach Barry Trotz said. “Every year he’s gotten better and better in terms of his offense, in terms of his goal scoring. When he first got here, I put him with Ovi and Backy and all he wanted to do was give the puck to Ovi and Backy.”

He doesn’t defer anymore, however. And part of the reason for that, Trotz said, is because they have a mutual respect for each other’s ability

“All three guys know they are terrific players,” Trotz said. “They can make things happen. They’ve been good.”

Trotz added: “All three of them are working together. They are making plays. They don’t spend a lot of time in their own zone. They’re responsible defensively. They've got a real good hound mentality around the puck and they're keeping pucks alive. And when they keep pucks alive, they create offense.”

Indeed, over the past four games (3-0-1), Ovechkin, Backstrom and Oshie have combined for six goals and 15 assists.

“It’s clicking right now very well,” Ovechkin said. “I hope it’s going to click in the most important time—the playoffs. Backy is feeling it. Osh is feeling it.”

And soon Oshie is gonna be raking it in, too.

MORE CAPITALS: Capitals douse Flames, 4-2

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Caps at Islanders: Ovechkin is in for final game before bye week

Caps at Islanders: Ovechkin is in for final game before bye week

The Capitals (32-11-5) head to Long Island to take on the New York Islanders (28-14-4) in the last game before the bye week. Tune in to NBC Sports Washington for all the action! Pregame coverage starts at 12 p.m. with Caps FaceOff Live followed by Caps Pregame Live bringing you up to the 1 p.m. puck drop. Stick with NBC Sports Washington after the game for postgame coverage with Caps Postgame Live and Caps Overtime Live.

Here is what you need to know for Saturday's game.

Ovechkin is in

By skipping the All-Star Game, Alex Ovechkin is subject to a one-game suspension. He must serve that suspension in either the last game before the bye week or the first game back. Todd Reirden said following Thursday's game that Ovechkin will play on Saturday meaning he will miss the Jan. 27 game against the Montreal Canadiens. This should come as no surprise considering the Islanders game is a division game and the Montreal game is not.

Here are the lines based on Friday's practice:

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Carl Hagelin - Lars Eller - Richard Panik
Brendan Leipsic - Nic Dowd - Garnet Hathaway

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Nick Jensen
Jonas Siegenthaler - Radko Gudas

Ovechkin is red-hot

It is a good thing Ovechkin is playing Saturday because he is red-hot right now. He has five goals in just the past two games and sits one behind Mario Lemieux for 10th all-time in goals.

Holtby starts

Ilya Samsonov started the last two games and played well, but with the bye week upcoming, Reirden felt it important to get Braden Holtby back in. He confirmed Friday that Holtby will be the starter.

Holtby has not registered a save percentage above .900 in six straight starts and he sits at .899 for the season. He has still managed a 18-9-4 record for the season, however. Reirden said the last two games for Samsonov allowed Holtby the chance to "reset." HIs last game was on Jan. 11 against the New Jersey Devils.

When last we met

With Holtby in net, he will have a chance to rebound after this last start against the Islanders, a tough 4-3 loss at home on New Year's Eve. He allowed four goals on 22 shots in that game.

It was a very sloppy affair, not what we are used to seeing from the typically buttoned-up Islanders defense and turnovers were a problem for both sides. Semyon Varlamov closed the door in the period, stopping a whopping 17 shots as Washington poured it on looking to tie it.

Here's a recap of the game.

Washington is 1-1-0 against the Islanders this season with the final matchup coming on Feb. 10.

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Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne believes Alex Ovechkin will catch Wayne Gretzky

Hall of Famer Teemu Selanne believes Alex Ovechkin will catch Wayne Gretzky

During the Caps big win over the Carolina Hurricanes Monday night, Alex Ovechkin passed Finnish great Teemu Selanne on the all-time goal list, bringing him to 11th overall. He currently stands at 689 goals and his next target on the list is Pittsburgh Penguins star Mario Lemieux at 690.

With Ovechkin closing in on yet another goal-scorer, Selanne took to Twitter to say that he believes Ovechkin will be the one to pass Wayne Gretzky's mark of 894 goals.

Selanne isn't the only one who believes the Great Eight can catch up to the Great One. Nicklas Backstrom thinks his captain can do it, Sidney Crosby agrees with that assessment,  and the Great One himself said that Ovi has elevated the way the game has been played with his goal-scoring pursuit.

Ovi's take on it all? That if he's able to complete the feat he'll retire immediately. Ovi needs 205 more goals to reach that mark.

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