Oates keeps Capitals’ lines intact, preaches patience

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Washington has scored just four goals in its last three games and has consequently lost all of those contests. Still, Capitals coach Adam Oates has decided to stay the course going into tonight’s contest against the Edmonton Oilers.

Washington will go back to goaltender Braden Holtby after Michal Neuvirth got the nod in Saturday’s 5-1 defeat to the Colorado Avalanche. However, they also will employ the same lines and defensive pairings tonight.

“Some decisions are tough,” Oates told CSN Washington. “I don’t feel we played that badly. The score obviously wasn’t great, but there were a lot of things we did well and I don’t want them to think we’re pushing the panic button.”

Mikhail Grabovski, who had a hat trick in Washington’s season opener and hasn’t scored since, voiced his appreciation for Oates’ support and linemate Brooks Laich largely echoed that sentiment.

Washington endured similar struggles early in Oates’ first season as the team’s head coach. They got off to a 2-8-1 start, but heated up as the year progressed to win the Southeast Division.

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Caps players question their effort, coach disagrees