ARLINGTON, Va. -- Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates would not have been criticized -- perhaps even lauded -- if he shuffled his forward lines after his team's slow offensive start at even strength.
Through three games, Washington's offense has been buoyed by its NHL-leading power play, which has accounted for six of its nine goals this season. That leaves just three goals scored at 5-on-5, tied for the third-fewest in the NHL.
Yet after three consecutive days of practice, the Capitals' forward lines, minus one change to the fourth line ahead of their game Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes, remain intact.
"I'm a very patient guy when it comes to that," Oates said earlier this week. "You've got to give a guy a fair amount of time to let everything happen."