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Caps get heroic effort from third line in Game 3

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Caps get heroic effort from third line in Game 3

Prior to Game 3, Capitals coach Barry Trotz talked about the need for the team's bottom two lines to step up. Apparently, they were listening.

A tremendous performance from the Capitals' third and fourth lines fueled the Caps to the 2-1 series lead over the New York Rangers after a 1-0 win on Monday night.

Alex Ovechkin stole the show in the series' first two games as the top line combined for three goals and three assists. The bottom two lines, however, were held without a point. That changed on Monday as the third line of Andre Burakovsky, Jay Beagle and Troy Brouwer worked to score the game's only goal.

"I got a good shot in the slot there," Beagle said. "[Burakovsky] gave me a nice pass and [Henrik Lundqvist] made a good blocker save and I just tried to comeback around and put it on net because I knew guys were crashing there and tried to wrap it around. Got a little lucky and it went it."

RELATED: Caps 'create havoc' for the Rangers

Beagle's initial chance was created by the strong forecheck of Brouwer and Burakovsky. The two battled for the puck until Burakovsky was able to send it to Beagle in the slot. From there, Beagle's hard work took over.

"We’ve been talking a lot of guys that shoot the puck, follow up your shot," Brooks Laich said. "Jay does that, gets it back out in front and the puck goes in. A well-earned goal. Hard work earns that goal."

"That line was really working hard," Trotz said. "I thought that whole line, Brouwer, Beagle, Burakovsky had a lot of jump, and they were really committed to getting pucks to the net and keeping things alive, and that's how the goal happened."

The contribution of the bottom lines was not simply limited to the scoresheet. Both lines, including the fourth line of Curtis Glencross, Brooks Laich and Tom Wilson, did a tremendous job on the forecheck to generate multiple offensive chances and they came up big in their own end with critical shot blocks in the game's waning minutes.

"I thought we had a good plan in the last minute with their goalie out," Laich said. "Thought guys did a good job executing it, the faceoff, the assignments, the blocked shots. Thought we did a really good job at the end."

After talking about how the team needed more secondary scoring, Trotz was clearly pleased with the third line's efforts after the game.

"We're going to need some new heroes every night, it's going to be someone different for us, that's how we have to get it done," Trotz said. "That line has been buzzing and had some chances and some looks and [the puck] hasn't gone in, [but] the harder you work, the luckier you get."

"We talked about being the difference, our line in the game, but you never know how it’s going to play out," Brouwer said, "And tonight I thought we did a good job and we were the difference."

MORE CAPITALS: Holtby's shutout performance earns praises of his teammates

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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.

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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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