The Washington Times - September 30, 2011, 01:49PM

The panic button isn’t even plugged in yet, so don’t bother. The Capitals have scored nine goals in five preseason games – that’s tied for second-worst in the league among the 25 teams that have played at least five games.

You almost have to toss out that game at 1st Mariner Arena that was played amid puddles.

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“That Baltimore game to start out was tough to get any offense,” forward Jay Beagle said.

But Bruce Boudreau wants more goals.

“If you know me, I like to score,” the Caps’ coach said. “Our creativity scoring-wise hasn’t been where we want it. We’re hoping that it starts to pick up.”

Wednesday night after Washington’s 4-1 exhibition loss to the Predators in Nashville, Boudreau went into a bit of further detail about what his team is doing wrong – or isn’t doing.

“You get goals by going to the net and shooting pucks and eventually one goes in off your head or off your knee or something or you score a goal,” he said. “Where did they get all of their goals from? In the blue. Every one of them, in the blue, going to the net.”

There are a variety of reasons for the lack of production. Not having a full lineup in any game so far is one of them, and that creates more issues.

“A lot of different guys have been playing with different [linemates] just trying to gain chemistry with a few different guys,” right wing Joel Ward said. “I think it’s just a matter of time when the lineup gets in there, and I’m sure chances will definitely come.”

The Caps certainly hope that happens before the games start to count for real.