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Capitals' Oshie had to be encouraged by linemates to shoot more

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports / USA TODAY Sports

T.J. Oshie hit the jackpot when he was traded to the Washington Capitals.

Previously a staple in the St. Louis Blues organization, Oshie was dealt to the Capitals in the off-season to be the top-line right winger alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

While transitioning to a line with two all-world players may seem like a breeze, it was a bit more difficult than expected.

"It's not really that easy to come in and play with us because me and Ovi have been playing with each other for such a long time," said Backstrom, according to Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post.

"It takes a little while to get used to each other and where we want the puck," Backstrom added.

The biggest hurdle for Washington during his transition was encouraging Oshie to use his shot more often.

"We had to sit him down a few times and say, 'Listen, you can shoot the puck pretty well. Don't always look for Ovi. If you've got a clear look, take your chances,'" said head coach Barry Trotz.

The advice worked, as Oshie set a career-high with 26 goals, and netted a hat-trick in Game 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A self-proclaimed pass-first player, Oshie admitted it took some time to get used to a shooter's mentality.

"The hit on me is usually that I pass too much," Oshie said. "Maybe that's the reason. (On Thursday), I was shooting a little bit more, so I don't know. Just haven't had success in the past, and hopefully this can continue. It's feeling good right now."

Ovechkin played a big role in encouraging Oshie to get the puck on net, according to Trotz.

"It took a while, but now I think he trusts his shot," Trotz said. "Ovi's been good, too. Ovi's said, 'Hey, you've got a clean look, so don't look for me. I'll be covered. I'll still get my shots and I'll still take my shots, but if you've got a clean look, go for it.' And he has."

With the Presidents Trophy and a 1-0 second-round series lead in tow, whatever Washington's top line as been working on, is clearly paying off.

Capitals' Oshie had to be encouraged by linemates to shoot more
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