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Penguins notebook: Capitals use Tom Wilson’s suspension as rallying cry |

Penguins notebook: Capitals use Tom Wilson’s suspension as rallying cry

Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie chases the puck against Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta during the third period in Game 2 on Sunday, April 29, 2018, in Washington.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
The Penguins celebrate after a goal in the second period during their game against the Capitals inside of PPG Paints Arena on May 3, 2018.

The Capitals took a different approach to Tom Wilson’s three-game suspension for hitting Penguins rookie Zach Aston-Reese in Game 3 on Tuesday night.

They weren’t shrugging off the decision. They were using it as a rallying cry.

“Any arrogance that could have came from our last couple victories I think has been squashed from the fact that we’re losing Tom,” winger T.J. Oshie said. “He’s been taken away from us for a couple games here. We’re fired up.”

Oshie said he thought the problem with Wilson’s hit was largely related to the size of the parties involved.

“Yes, his head gets hit, but there’s been a million times I get hit, I go to the ref and say, ‘I got hit in the head,’ and the ref just says, ‘He’s bigger than you. That’s just the way it goes,’ ” Oshie said.

Replacing Wilson

With Wilson out, Devante Smith-Pelly moved up from the third line to the first line for the Capitals, joining Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Shane Gersich, a rookie out of the University of North Dakota who played three regular-season games for the Capitals after his college season ended, made his playoff debut.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter @BombulieTrib.

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