A little over a day after learning of his father's death, Minnesota native T.J. Oshie scored a hat trick to lead the Washington Capitals to an emotional 4-2 win over the New York Rangers Wednesday night.
Oshie's father, Tim Oshie, died Tuesday at the age of 56. Just 24 hours later, Oshie was back on the ice. He netted a pair of power-play goals in the second period and completed the hat trick in the third, at which point he was surrounded by teammates in an emotional celebration.
"I have nothing but love for my teammates. I will be forever grateful for this night and especially because I got to share it with my brothers," Oshie tweeted.
"I saw he got emotional there at the end, which was understandable," Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said of Oshie, according to NHL.com. "I felt like he needed a hug. I told him like, 'You are the strongest person I know.'
"First of all, it's impressive that he actually played today and how he led the way. It's got to be so tough. I can only imagine. We are a family. We are in this together. His loss is everyone's loss. We feel for him."
The Oshie name is legendary in Warroad, Minnesota. According to the Grand Forks Herald, Tim coached Warroad's junior varsity team and was an assistant on the varsity high school team. He also wrote for the Warroad Pioneer newspaper and was a regular on local radio.
Tim Oshie had battled Alzheimer's Disease since 2012. When Oshie won the Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2018, he and his father celebrated with the Cup in Warroad.
"It’s with a heavy heart today that my family mourns the passing of my Dad 'Coach Oshie.' Coach lived life to the fullest and was unanimously loved by everyone who met him. Thanks to all the family and friends for their support. Heaven received a legend today. #RIPCoachOsh," T.J. wrote on social media after his father's death.
Backes honored in final game at St. Louis
It was also an emotional night for Minnesota native and Anaheim Ducks forward David Backes. The former Minnesota State-Mankato star was honored as he played his final game in St. Louis against the team he called home the first 10 years of his career.
Backes, who played on a line with Oshie during their years together in St. Louis, is set to retire at the end of the season.
It's unknown if Backes will play Friday or Saturday when the Ducks visit the Wild in St. Paul. It's a good bet, however, that the Wild will honor the former Spring Lake Park High School star.