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Oshie, Capitals have good luck charm during Stanley Cup Final

Playoff run provides diversion for 10-year-old girl with cancer

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Addy Flint had a busy week at school, so she was unable to stay awake for the end of the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final last week.

But that wasn't a concern for the 10-year-old from Alexandria, Virginia during the Washington Capitals' 3-1 win against the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 3 of the best-of-7 series Saturday. She watched it with her family and friends who celebrated the Capitals' first-ever home victory in the Cup Final.

Flint's friend, Capitals forward T.J. Oshie, assisted on Evgeny Kuznetsov's winning goal at 12:50 of the second period.

 

[RELATED: Complete Golden Knights vs. Capitals series coverage]

 

The Flints also plan to watch Game 4 at their home Monday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS). Since most of Addy's work is completed for the school year, she can watch the game from start to finish.

The Capitals' run to the Cup Final has provided a joyous diversion for Flint and her family. This week, she will be tested to determine if her kidney cancer is in remission.

"I'm worried about getting sick again, and watching the Caps makes me forget it," Flint said. "It gives me something to focus on. I love watching the games, especially T.J."

Flint and Oshie became friends after they were paired at the Capitals' Hockey Fights Cancer skate for children from Make-A-Wish's Mid-Atlantic chapter in November 2016. Flint, who diagnosed in March 2013 when she was 4, was in remission at the time, but the cancer returned a year ago.

Oshie remembers being immediately drawn to Flint's upbeat personality.

Tweet from @TJOshie77: My good luck charm! What a beautiful person. Thanks for all your support @addyroar #Besties https://t.co/zbSSvbpTHO

"She just didn't seem like a person who could be kept down by anything," he said. "I'm a very positive guy and I thought that was an amazing quality for her to have in her situation. She's always smiling.

"Right away, we just started chatting. She wasn't shy asking me questions, and usually it's the other way around. They're usually quiet. We just hit it off right away and I thought she was a really special girl, a really awesome family. We just became friends."

Oshie and his wife, Lauren, have two daughters -- Lyla, 4, and Leni, 1 -- so his connection with Flint feels natural. He and Lauren have kept in touch with Flint and her mother, Stacey, through emails, texts and social media.

"It absolutely means a lot to me," Flint said. "Sometimes fans meet players and later they try to get their attention, but they don't really notice them. T.J.'s kept in touch with me. We're now more like best friends instead of people he knew for five seconds."

It's been a rough year for Flint; after having several surgeries, she ended cancer treatments in March because her body was unable to handle the stresses of chemotherapy and radiation with her suppressed immune system.

"It's been about three months since she had her last treatment and we're just kind of waiting to see how she's going to recover," Stacey Flint said. "On Wednesday, she'll undergo testing to determine if the cancer is in remission or if she'll need further treatment. So we're kind of a little bit on pins and needles going into this week."

The Capitals' playoff run has provided some relief.

Flint attended Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning on May 19 when Capitals director of community relations Peter Robinson gave her family his employee tickets.

With the Capitals trailing 3-2 in the best-of-7 series, Oshie scored Washington's first goal in a 3-0 victory to force a Game 7, which it won 4-0 to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1998.

"I almost burst out in tears," Flint said of her reaction watching Oshie score. "I had tiny tears running down my face."

Flint's presence seems to be good luck for Oshie; he scored a goal in each of the two games she attended during Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Month in November 2016.

Video: TJ Oshie makes a heroic impact on and off the ice

"We all firmly believe that Addy is good luck," Stacey Flint said. "She has made it this far through all of her treatments because she has a lot of good luck. So she wore her lady bug earrings, she has a jacket that Lauren Oshie gave her and a jersey that Oshie signed. She brought all of her luck and they won. We were really excited."

Flint wore her lucky lady bug earrings again when she attended the Capitals' Stanley Cup Final sendoff at their practice facility May 26. She yelled to get Oshie's attention so she could give him a good luck note before he left with the Capitals for Las Vegas.

"I was behind the door when he came out and he missed me," she said. "I went to the middle, he touched me. Then at the end, I screamed as loud as I can when he was getting in the car and he came back and gave me a hug."

Oshie also believes that Flint brings him good luck.

Video: Hradek and Melrose on Capitals' Game 3 win

"You could say that, for sure, with her special lady bug earrings," he said. "She wears them on game days, so they seem to be the good luck charm."

Flint hopes that luck holds with the Capitals two wins from winning the Stanley Cup for the first time in their 43 NHL seasons. She believes they will.

"They've been playing well all year and I feel like Vegas hasn't had that much experience in the playoffs," she said. "I feel like we have a much bigger chance of winning."

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