With his full gear still on and hair dripping with sweat following a jubilant postgame television interview Tuesday, Washington Capitals forward Matt Hendricks decided a shout-out to “the Wagons” was necessary.

It’s the name that has been bestowed on Washington’s depth players in recent years, the sort of term that only those who relish blocking 100-mph slap shots instead of scoring goals can appreciate. But at this moment, minutes after the Capitals clinched their fifth Southeast Division title in six years, it was a pretty good night to be part of the club.

Hendricks, forward Jason Chimera and defenseman John Erskine — all three of whom proudly proclaim themselves “Wagons” — had been voted the stars of the game. In the first period alone, Hendricks scored Washington’s first goal, Chimera tallied the second and Erskine made two saves covering for goalie Braden Holtby.

“Some games we get those chances. Some games we don’t. . . . But it’s getting to be that time of the year when everyone needs to chip in,” Hendricks said.

“You see it every year with the teams that seem to go far. They have that third- and fourth-line scoring where, they’re not scoring every game, but they seem to get a big one when the team needs it.”

This, it seems, was the other story line on an evening when the Capitals locked up the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference ahead of next week’s start to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Though Washington’s top two lines — featuring stars such as Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Ribeiro and Troy Brouwer — have carried the scoring burden as the Capitals clawed their way back to the top of the division, the role players will become exponentially more important once the postseason begins.

“It’s what this team needs every once in awhile,” said center Matthieu Perreault, who set up Chimera’s goal and scored another off a rebound Tuesday. “We cannot rely always on our big guys.”

Nobody knows this better than Coach Adam Oates, an assistant coach last year when the New Jersey Devils advanced to the Stanley Cup finals. New Jersey’s fourth line of Ryan Carter, Stephen Gionta and Steve Bernier accounted for 21 points and a plus-11 rating in 24 playoff games, and became a major story line during the Devils’ run.

As Oates noted Wednesday, “It’s funny how every team has those guys that surface in the playoffs.”