PHILADELPHIA • T.J. Oshie got on the scoreboard for the first time this season in the first period of Saturday's 4-2 win over Philadelphia. But the Blues forward didn't get on the ice for one shift in the second period.
Blues coach Davis Payne benched the winger for the entire second period, and while he declined to give a reason for it after the game, it seemed to stem from a turnover by Oshie late in the final minute of the opening period.
"Just an in-game decision," Payne said. "I make a lot of decisions based on how guys are playing. We'll leave that one in house."
After the game, Oshie was asked about Payne's decision to bench him and Oshie replied: "No comment."
Payne has not been happy recently with Oshie's penchant to make ill-advised one-on-one plays. It led his removal from the Blues' top line late in the Blues' 4-2 loss to Anaheim and it's apparently part of the reason Oshie has seen such little time on the power play.
But Saturday, once Payne made the decision, he stuck to it, and it became a disadvantage for the Blues. Midway through the period, David Backes left the game with an upper-body injury, and without Oshie that left the team with 10 forwards until the start of the third period.
"That's part of growing as a team," Blues forward Jamie Langenbrunner said. "Yeah, it stings for Osh there. He played a good first period and then that was unfortunate what happened. But I think we all learn from that. We all see that coach means business. Guys are going to stick with it and play the way we need to, play the team's style. Osh handled it well. Didn't get down on it. Kept competing and came out and played a great third."
Oshie, who has four points following his first-period goal, returned to the game for the start of the third period. He played 6:40 in the final frame, covering 10 shifts.