The Ducks spent much of Monday’s practice trying to improve their powerless power play. They have clicked on only nine of 80 chances with the man advantage and their 11.3% success rate is the league’s third lowest.
“The power play is a sad story,” said right wing Teemu Selanne, who led the NHL with 25 power-play goals in 1998-99, but has only one this season.
“We’re at the point now where we’ve got to start having some success,” said Coach Craig Hartsburg, whose team led the NHL with a 22% success rate last season.
The Ducks showed marked improvement in Saturday’s 4-3 victory over Nashville, missing out on a power-play goal by a mere three seconds. Paul Kariya scored the first of his two goals just as Nashville’s Sergei Krivokrasov was charging out of the penalty box.
But by game’s end, the Ducks were scoreless on three chances, extending their power-play drought to four games.
“There are no magic answers,” Hartsburg said. “If you only score once out of five chances, then you’ve got a good program. Part of it is character and winning battles. You stay with it, be persistent and eventually you’ll be rewarded.”
Hartsburg hopes adding defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky to the first power-play unit and dropping Kariya from the point to a more natural position down low will remedy the situation.
“I didn’t like our 12% [success rate] the other way [with Kariya at the point], so we’ve got to find another way to get it going,” Hartsburg said. “We’ve given it 20-something games to get going. Maybe it will get worse now. I don’t know.”