ANAHEIM - Nearly 14 months ago, David Perron was bound for Anaheim. The team he'd spent parts of two seasons with - the Pittsburgh Penguins - had traded him to get forward Carl Hagelin from the Ducks.
Perron played 28 regular season games in Anaheim, arguably posting one of the best stretches of his nine-year career. He scored eight goals and 12 assists (20 points) and had a plus-12 rating in those 28 games. In the Stanley Cup Playoffs, he also contributed a goal and two assists in seven games.
While his time in Anaheim was relatively short, Perron said he learned a lot from players like Ryan Getzlaf. "He showed me how to be patient with the puck and never panic," Perron told stlouisblues.com after he returned to the Blues last summer. "He wasn't afraid to make mistakes, but he was certainly making a lot of good plays out there."
Without a doubt, tonight's game against the Ducks (9 p.m. CT, FSMW, KMOX) will be special and somewhat emotional for Perron. It's a chance to face off against some old friends as he tries to help the Blues match a season-long six-game winning streak.
"I had a great time in Anaheim, and to find chemistry with Getzlaf like I did, it was fun to go through that," Perron said after Wednesday's practice at Honda Center. "But I'm happy with the Blues now, and I think we're really finding our game more recently and I want to build on that."
Perron has been arguably one of the Blues' most consistent forwards this season. Since re-joining the Blues on a two-year contract last summer, he has posted 14 goals and 23 assists in 68 games. And even when the points haven't been there, the effort and hard work certainly has.
Video: Perron ready for special game vs. Ducks
"I think we have a lot of guys playing very consistent hockey right now, and coming out of the break looking at David's game, he has a real clear idea of what we need from him and he's been bringing it consistently," Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo said. "When he plays with a physical presence and edge to his game, that's when his skill has a chance to show. He's been doing that lately."
Of course, winning makes everything better. In a season and a half with the Edmonton Oilers from 2013-15, wins were few and far between for the Sherbrooke, Quebec native. In Pittsburgh, Anaheim and now St. Louis again, winning has been a lot more common.
"When you're winning, you can be almost anywhere in the world and you're going have fun coming to the rink," Perron said. "When you're losing, you could be anywhere and it wouldn't be as much fun coming to the rink."
Here's hoping Perron and the Blues have a lot of fun tonight.
FACING THE DUCKS
The Blues will wrap up the season series with Anaheim tonight at Honda Center and will have a chance to sweep the season series for the first time since the 2000-01 season. The Blues beat the Ducks 2-1 in their first meeting at Honda Center on Jan. 15, snapping a 10-game losing streak in Anaheim. Last Friday, Joel Edmundson scored with 20 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Blues a 4-3 win at Scottrade Center.
Don't expect them to forget that last one.
"I think that's our challenge," Yeo said. "These guys are probably looking to exact some revenge after we grabbed the lead with 19 seconds last game. Looking at the way they played against Washington (5-2 win on March 12) and the way their top guys are going, it's going to be a challenge."
Tonight's game is an important one for the Ducks, who have fallen to third place in the Pacific Division thanks to Calgary's 10-game winning streak. A win tonight could move them back into second place and restore home-ice advantage in the first round of the Playoffs.
The Blues remain four points ahead of the Kings for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference but could take third place in the Central Division win a victory tonight.
Jake Allen will start against the Ducks after posting 38 saves in Monday's 3-1 win over the Kings. With the win, Allen tied Jaroslav Halak for sixth on the team's all-time wins list (83).
Allen is 5-0-0 in his career against the Ducks, posting a 1.47 goals-against average, a .943 save-percentage and one shutout.
Vladimir Tarasenko has four goals and three assists in his last six games against the Ducks.
The Blues are averaging 3.20 goals in their five-game winning streak. They are 29-9-0 when scoring three or more goals this season.