T.J. Oshie's hat trick helps Capitals become NHL's first playoff team


AP

Published 9:59 p.m. ET March 18, 2017 | Updated 9 hours ago

TAMPA (AP) —The Washington Capitals have their third consecutive 100-point season and are postseason-bound for the ninth time in 10 years.

T.J Oshie had three goals and an assist, Justin Williams and John Carlson had early third-period goals, and the Capitals became the first team to clinch a playoff spot by beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-3 on Saturday night.

“It feels good,” Oshie said. “It’s one thing on the checklist we wanted to cross off. We got there. Most important thing for us, we want to be playing at the very elite level, at our top level entering the playoffs. That’s our goal.”

Oshie scored twice, including an early power-play goal, as the Capitals took a 2-0 lead midway through the first. He completed his third career hat trick with an empty-netter during the final minute. Oshie has 10 goals and 19 points in 14 games against Tampa Bay.

Williams had a redirection goal 3:14 into the period before Carlson swatted a…

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