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While the National Hockey League does not count goals scored by players in the shootout skills competition along with those scored in regulation during the regular season, there is no doubt that Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie is among the very best when it comes to lighting the lamp, post-overtime. With his shootout winner against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night, the 34-year old forward confirmed just this.
With his shootout, game-winning goal against Buffalo goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Oshie scored his 46th career shootout goal, the fourth-most in NHL history since the league implemented the skills competition beginning the 2005-06 season behind Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks (51), Frans Nielsen (no longer active in the NHL, 49), and Patrick Kane (49, also of the Blackhawks).
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 12, 2021
The goal also marked his 21st game-deciding goal in the shootout, which ranks second in league history behind Nielsen, who has 23.
T.J. Oshie wins the shootout with his 46th career shootout goal, the fourth-most in NHL history. That also marks his 21st game-deciding goal, tied for the second-most in NHL history.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) December 12, 2021
Since his first season with the Caps (2015-16), Oshie has notched 15 goals in the shootout on 35 opportunities, a 42.9% success rate. Of those 15, five have decided games in the Capitals’ favor. In his 14-season NHL career, Oshie has scored on 48.9% of his shootout opportunities. However, Oshie’s shootout prowess is probably best known for lifting the United States Men’s Olympic team over the host Russian National team in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, during which he scored on four of six opportunities (international rules differ from the NHL) to secure the Americans’ victory.
In an interview with NHL Network, Oshie discussed his techniques when shooting on an opposing goalie in the skills competition:
While there are many who do not particularly care for the shootout, there is also no doubt that when the Capitals’ No. 77 takes the ice, it provides for an entertaining and remarkable look at the skills of one of the best shootout participants.
By Michael Fleetwood