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Capitals GM Brian MacLellan: Matt Niskanen's injury is not serious

Capitals GM Brian MacLellan: Matt Niskanen's injury is not serious

Matt Niskanen is day-to-day with the lower body injury he suffered during Wednesday’s 4-1 win in Philadelphia, Capitals General Manager Brian MacLellan said.

“It’s day-to-day; it’s not a serious injury,” MacLellan said. “He’ll be fine.”

Niskanen did not practice on Thursday and MacLellan said there's no timeline for the defenseman’s return.

“We’ll be cautious with it,” MacLellan said.

Niskanen was injured in the second period at Wells Fargo Center when he collided, leg-on-leg, with rugged Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas. The injury appeared to be to Niskanen’s left leg.

The Capitals play Edmonton and Nashville on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Assuming Brooks Orpik is okay—he took a maintenance day to rest a nagging lower body ailment—the Caps will not need to make a move since they’ve got six healthy defensemen on the roster.

Niskanen leads the Capitals defensemen with 32 points (4 goals, 28 assists). The 30-year-old also plays a major role on the power play and penalty kill.

That said, the NHL’s top team will be in no rush to get him back in the lineup.

“We’ll make sure he’s 100-percent before he comes back,” MacLellan said.

MORE CAPITALS: Prospect report: Samsonov leads team to the KHL playoffs

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

The Stanley Cup is not the only trophy that will be awarded at the end of the Stanley Cup Final series between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights. The Conn Smythe will also be given to the player deemed the most valuable to his team during the playoffs.

Who will that player be?

It's not hard to figure out who the frontrunner is right now. Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't just been the best goalie in the playoffs, he's been the best player with a dominant postseason in which he has posted a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. He has been so dominant, he could win it even if Vegas loses the series.

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

The last player from the losing team to win the Conn Smythe was Jean-Sebastian Giguere from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003.

But what about the Caps?

Alex Ovechkin is the leader of Washington and has been absolutely dominant throughout the postseason. He even scored the series-clinching goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Surprisingly, however, Ovechkin does not lead the team in points through the playoffs. Evgeny Kuznetsov holds that edge with 24 points to Ovechkin's 22.

Will their offensive dominance propel them to win the Cup and the Conn Smythe? Will a different player emerge as the hero of the series?

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS:

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Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

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Twitter/City of Las Vegas

Las Vegas changes iconic welcome sign to include no capital letters

The Washington Capitals official #ALLCAPS hashtag started in 2017 during a Caps-Penguins game after the Pittsburgh Penguins' official Twitter account decided to tweet in all lowercase letters during the game. 

Now, as the Caps look to face the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup Final ahead of Game 1 Monday, Vegas has followed suit by changing their iconic "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign to include only lowercase letters, a jab at the Capitals #ALLCAPS.

Additionally, the City's official Twitter account has changed their handle to "the city of las vegas" without any capital letters and the hashtag #nocaps.

It will be interesting to see how the Capitals' official Twitter will respond...

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