As Mighty Duck Coach Ron Wilson kept telling his players, it is exceedingly hard to score if you don't shoot the puck.
And it can be exceedingly easy when they throw it in the general direction of the net, as Duck defenseman David Williams did Friday night in the third period of a 2-2 tie against Vancouver in front of 17,174 at The Pond.
Williams was credited with the tying goal when he found the puck and, with his back half-turned, lifted a shot toward the net from high in the slot. But the puck hit Vancouver's Greg Adams as he skated toward the crease and went past goaltender Kay Whitmore the net at 11:51 of the third.
"Sometimes when you're having difficulty scoring, you try to pick a little corner of the net," Wilson said. "Williams just turns around and blindly directs it at the net and it goes in off Greg Adams."
The Ducks' two goals doubled their production in the last three games, and their 33 shots were a season-high.
"I was just throwing it at the net, and it happened to go in," Williams said. "That's the brand of hockey we need to play. We're not going to get a lot of goals off fancy plays. We have to go to the net and get the rebound."
If the Ducks thought they were struggling after losing six of their last seven, consider the Canucks, who were Stanley Cup finalists last season and are tied with the Ducks for last in the Pacific Division.
The first three goals of the game were scored withing 73 seconds of the first period. Vancouver kept that 2-1 lead well into the third period.
But the Ducks--who had scored only one goal over their last three games before Friday--finally started to buzz a little bit in the third. Overtime lacked intensity, with the Canucks managing one shot and the Ducks two. But these were teams that needed a point in the standings.
The Ducks played better, but were 0 for 5 on the power play. Their futility streak now stands at 30.
They also gave up yet another shorthanded goal, their sixth of the season and the most in the NHL.
While playing five-on-four this season, the Ducks have scored four goals. The other team has scored six.
This one came after Anatoli Semenov fanned on Paul Kariya pass in front of the net, then tossed his stick onto the ice at the puck. Pavel Bure helped send the puck up the left-wing boards to Greg Adams for a breakaway, and Adams faked Guy Hebert to the ice and then put the puck over him into the net for a 1-0 lead at 14:47 of the first.
The Ducks tied the score quickly after Steve Rucchin won a faceoff in the Vancouver zone and defenseman Bobby Dollas scored with a shot from the left point that hit the top of the net.
Sixteen seconds later they trailed again when Bure scored off the faceoff, with Geoff Courtnall getting the assist.
Guy Hebert played well in goal to keep the Ducks in it, making 25 saves. He started his third game in a row, the first time this season Wilson has stayed with the same goalie that long.
Kariya was back in the lineup after missing a game with a sore back, and had an assist for his first point in his last five games. Kariya, 20, had seven points in his first seven games, but hasn't scored since. It's partly the result of attentive defenders and partly the result of his teammates' shortcomings. Wilson suggests Kariya has tended to get too far ahead of the play, trying to take on defenders one-on-two.
Kariya came in with big expectations, and the Ducks came in with some too, in part because they won 33 games last season.
"A lot of people have distorted minds about who we are," Wilson said.