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Oshie out indefinitely for Capitals, won't play Game 5 against Hurricanes

Forward sustained upper-body injury in series-tying loss; Smith-Pelly recalled

by Harvey Valentine / NHL.com Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- T.J. Oshie is out indefinitely with an upper-body injury and the forward won't play for the Washington Capitals in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN360, SN1, TVAS).

Oshie was injured during the third period of a 2-1 loss at Carolina in Game 4 on Thursday that tied the best-of-7 series.

"He's meeting with our team doctors today," Washington coach Todd Reirden said Friday. "We'll have a little bit more of a timetable as the day goes on and tomorrow. As of right now, he's out indefinitely."

 

[RELATED: Complete Capitals vs. Hurricanes series coverage]

 

The Capitals recalled forward Devante-Smith Pelly from Hershey of the American Hockey League on Friday. Smith-Pelly, who helped Washington win the 2018 Stanley Cup, was assigned to Hershey after clearing waivers in February.

Reirden said he expects Smith-Pelly, who was not at an optional skate Friday, to be in the lineup for Game 5.

"[To] get his game back to where it was last year around this time, it was important for him to play a lot of minutes," Reirden said. "He went down to Hershey, and he played a lot of minutes. … When an injury and a chance for him to step into our lineup was available, then we were going to recall him. That's been our plan all along. Now he'll get that opportunity."

Oshie was injured on a hit by Hurricanes forward Warren Foegele with 5:12 remaining in the third period. Oshie fell awkwardly into the right-wing boards and held his right arm when he got up and skated off the ice and went to the locker room. Foegele was penalized two minutes for boarding.

Video: WSH@CAR, Gm4: Oshie exits Game 4 with injury

"He was trying to backcheck, trying to lift a stick and gave a little nudge," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said of Foegele. "[Oshie] got off balance. That's the unfortunate part of it. There was certainly no ill intent on that play."

Oshie had two points (one goal, one assist) in the first four games of the series against Carolina after finishing fifth on the Capitals during the regular season with 54 points (25 goals, 29 goals) in 69 games. He missed 13 games because of a concussion; Washington was 10-3-0 in his absence.

Oshie was fourth on the Capitals with 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 24 games during the playoffs last season.

"He's certainly, I feel, one of the top leaders in the entire League. Not just with how he plays [but] who he is as a human being on the ice, off the ice, role model," Reirden said. "That loss will be felt. But that being said, we went without him this year earlier in the year and we had other players that stepped up. That's what we're going to need to have.

"We went without [center Nicklas] Backstrom last year [for four games] in the playoffs, and we had other players step up. This is part of playoff hockey."

Smith-Pelly tied for fourth on the Capitals with seven goals during the playoffs and scored in Games 3, 4 and 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Vegas Golden Knights. He also scored the series-clinching goal in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

"He can be a physical player," Washington forward Jakub Vrana said of Smith-Pelly. "He can step up at important moments. He showed it last year, and we're happy to have him back."

Smith-Pelly has 16 points (13 goals, three assists) in 48 NHL playoff games. He had eight points (four goals, four assists) in 54 games with the Capitals this season before being sent to Hershey, where he had 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 20 games.

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