It was just one game, but it was enough to shift the betting lines for the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. In Game 3 in Washington, the Vegas Golden Knights suffered their second consecutive defeat, and now find themselves as the underdog to win Lord Stanleys coveted prize.

Stanley Cup Finals
Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov celebrates his goal against Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, during the second period in Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, (Image: Alex Brandon/AP)

The first-year expansion team had become the darling of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs andwere favorites entering the Finals — listed at -140, while the Capitals were a +120.

Now, after two games where the Knights were unable to solve a Caps defense led by goalkeeper Braden Holtby, the tables have turned, with Washington now favored at -240 to win the Cup, with Vegas paying out at +200.

Mondays Game 4 puts Vegas as the underdog. The line opened at +105 for the Golden Knights, and has fluctuated depending on the sportsbook. BetOnline and Sportsbetting.ag have the line at +119, while William Hill and Stations Casinos in Nevada dropped their odds to +100.

The Capitals, who won convincingly on Saturday, 3-1, opened at -125. Intertops pushed them to -135, while William Hill and Stations knocked them down to -120.

Stanley Cup Finals, Game 4
at Washington

8 pm ET / 5 pm PT

TV: NBC
Stream: NBCSports

Getting Back to Even

Saturdays loss was the teams second straight and the first time that has happened in the playoffs. One problem was a lack of shots on goal. In Game 3, they were outshot 26-22.

We have to get more pucks on net, forward Ryan Reaves said in post-game interviews. Twenty-two shots isnt going to win you many games.

But there were other issues. Defensive lapses were the biggest. Shea Theodore had one of his worst games as a professional, and one play by the defenseman cost the team a goal.

On that play, I tried to keep the puck in (the attacking zone) the best I can, Theodore said. When you dont have a stick, its tough to back out, especially on an odd-man rush. Thats one Id like to have back.

Players were adamant they can overcome the many gaffes that have been made in the last two games.

I think everybody knows whats at stake right now, goalie Marc-Andre Fleury said. We have to find ways to come back in games, keep battling. Its the finals. I dont think anybody needs a reminder to play hard.

Line Changes Coming?

The second line has been an issue for the Golden Knights. Forwards Erik Haula, James Neal, and David Perron have been consistently outplayed by their Washington counterparts. In 180 minutes of hockey, the trio has a combined three points (1 goal, 2 assists), just 10 shots on goal, seven shots blocked, seven missed shots, and a woeful -9 rating.

We gotta get pucks to the net, Neal said. We didnt have enough shots. We didnt have enough bodies going to the net. They outbattled us. Were going to look at that and fix it.

Coach Gerard Gallant might do that for them. He is pondering changing up the lines a bit in an effort to try and pump some life into the team.

Weve got to step up our game, Gallant said. In the three games, we havent been good enough. If we dont step up our game, the same results going to happen. Well see what were made of.

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