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World Cup

T.J. Oshie has new shootout moves

Team USA forward preparing to face Capitals teammate Braden Holtby at World Cup

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / Staff Writer

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie has begun laying a little mental groundwork in case he crosses paths with goaltender Braden Holtby during the World Cup of Hockey 2016.

Oshie will play for Team USA in the tournament, which begins on Sept. 17 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, and Holtby, his teammate with the Capitals, will represent Team Canada. After opening World Cup training camps on Monday, their teams will play in pretournament games at Nationwide Arena in Columbus on Sept. 9 and at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa on Sept. 10 before a preliminary-round game at Air Canada Centre on Sept. 20.

It's unknown how much Holtby will play while sharing Canada's net with Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens and Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks. But if they do face each other, Oshie wanted to give him something extra to think about by trying out some different shootout moves.

"I actually just brought a couple new ones out here today," Oshie said after an informal practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday. "I've got to try to get in his head just in case."

Video: WSH@CBJ: Oshie's head fake earns him shootout goal

The shootout made Oshie a household name when he played for the United States at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. He displayed his vast repertoire of moves, which he has since expanded, by scoring four goals on six attempts on goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky in a 3-2 shootout win against Russia.

International rules for the shootout permit a player to take repeated attempts without limit once the tiebreaker reaches the sudden death stage following the third round. That day, the U.S. rode Oshie, who was on the roster partly because of his shootout prowess, to an eight-round victory.

The impressive display earned Oshie a shout-out from President Barack Obama on Twitter and an appearance on NBC's "Today" show.

"That was one of the more special moments of my career for sure, but hopefully I can be remembered for more than just a shootout when it comes to USA Hockey," Oshie said. "I was kind of playing in more of a grinder, support, penalty-kill role in Sochi. I didn't get too much ice time, so hopefully I can have a good camp here and get some more [ice time] and show some of my offensive abilities as well."

Oshie said he has yet to have any discussions about his potential role with anyone on Team USA's coaching staff, but he's confident he can do more following a breakout season with the Capitals.

After being acquired in an offseason trade with the St. Louis Blues, Oshie made the most of an opportunity to play on the Capitals' top line with Alex Ovechkin. He scored an NHL career-high 26 goals, including 11 on the power play, in the regular season before leading the Capitals with six goals in 12 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Video: WSH@NJD: Oshie uses a wrist shot in the shootout

"I think it should play a little bit of a factor [with Team USA] because I had more success offensively, especially scoring goals, this past year," Oshie said. "So hopefully that can translate into more ice time."

Oshie's performance last season clearly got the attention of Team USA management, because he was one of eight forwards named to the 16-player preliminary World Cup roster on March 2. The rest of the 23-man team was announced on May 27.

"I was thrilled, especially to be in that first group," he said. "Hopefully, we'll get in there and get in the top three this year."

That the United States didn't finish in the top three and win an Olympic medal is Oshie's lingering disappointment from his Sochi experience. He's looking forward to having the opportunity to help Team USA get a better result in the World Cup.

He'll be joined on Team USA by Capitals defensemen John Carlson and Matt Niskanen. Carlson was also on the 2014 Olympic team; Niskanen was not.

"[Carlson], you would imagine he's going to be manning one of the power plays for sure, and [Niskanen], it's very well deserved," Oshie said. "He's someone who doesn't get a lot of notoriety around the League, but he's as solid of a defenseman as you can get. I think it's great for the team. It might hurt us in training camp a little bit at the beginning, but it's good to have some of the boys there with me."

Five other Capitals also will play in the World Cup: Holtby, Ovechkin (Russia), Backstrom (Sweden), Evgeny Kuznetsov (Russia) and Dmitry Orlov (Russia). Coach Barry Trotz is an assistant for Team Canada.

Oshie acknowledged that playing against Ovechkin after being linemates with him "is going to be a little different."

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