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Perry Named NHL's First Star for March

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
Ducks right wing Corey Perry was named the NHL's First Star for the month of March, the league announced today. Vancouver Canucks left wing Daniel Sedin was named Second Star and Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne was named Third Star. 

Perry led the NHL in goals (15) and tied for the lead in points (21) in 14 games, helping the Ducks (44-28-5) climb to seventh place in the Western Conference standings. He also posted a League-leading four game-winning goals and registered a +9 rating. Perry tallied points in 10 games and goals in nine, including two-goal games versus the New York Rangers (Mar. 9), Phoenix Coyotes (Mar. 13), Calgary Flames (Mar. 20, Mar. 30) and Chicago Blackhawks (Mar. 26). Perry leads the NHL in goals with 46 and ranks fourth in points (89). He is tied with Washington’s Alex Ovechkin and Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin for the League lead in game-winning goals, each with 10.

Perry Highlights

Sedin tied for the League lead in points with 21 (nine goals, 12 assists) in 15 games, helping the Canucks (52-17-9) clinch the Presidents' Trophy as the team with the best record in the regular season. Sedin recorded points in 12 games and goals in nine, including three game-winning goals (Mar. 5 vs. Los Angeles, Mar. 12 vs. Calgary and Mar. 23 vs. Detroit). He recorded seven multiple-point games, highlighted by three-point efforts against Phoenix (Mar. 8) and Calgary (Mar. 12). Sedin leads the NHL in scoring with 100 points (41 goals, 59 assists) and is tied with Corey Perry and Alex Ovechkin for the League lead in game-winning goals (10).

Rinne posted a 9-3-2 record with a 1.91 goals-against average, .936 save percentage and two shutouts, helping the Predators (42-26-10) finish the month in sixth place in the Western Conference playoff race. He allowed two goals or fewer in seven of 14 games, including a 29-save, 3-0 shutout victory over the Vancouver Canucks Mar. 3 and a 19-save 4-0 shutout over the Minnesota Wild Mar. 10. In his third full season with Nashville, Rinne has posted a 31-21-8 record with a 2.10 goals-against average, .929 save percentage and six shutouts in 60 appearances.

A recap of Perry’s career season:

•    Corey Perry finished with 15 goals in March, the most by an NHL player in any month since Alexandre Burrows (VAN) had 15 in January 2010. Perry also co-led the NHL (also Daniel Sedien) in scoring (21 points) and ranked first in game-winning goals (4). His 15 goals accounted for the highest goal-scoring month by a Ducks player in club history. Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne previously shared the record (Kariya had 13 in January 2000 and Selanne recorded 13 in November 1997).

•        For the season, Corey Perry leads the league in goals (46) and is tied for first in game-winning goals (10, also Daniel Sedin and Alex Ovechkin). He ranks tied for fourth in points (89) and power play goals (13), and tied for eighth in shorthanded goals (3). He also ranks second among all NHL forwards in ice time (22:07), which is also first among all right wingers.
•        Perry leads the league with 21 third period goals (no other player has more than 17 – Philadelphia’s Danny Briere), and is tops with 23 third period/OT goals (no other player has more than 20 – San Jose’s Patrick Marleau).
•        He has already tied the club record with 10 game-winning goals (set by Paul Kariya in 1996-97 and equaled by Teemu Selanne in 1997-98 and 2006-07).
•         24 of Perry’s goals this season have tied the score or put the Ducks ahead (nine tied game, 15 put Ducks ahead/won game). Those 24 goals came in 21 different games, with the Ducks going 14-4-3 in those contests.
•         In his last 11 contests, he has 15-6=21 points with a +10 rating, six multi-goal games, four game-winning goals, and two overtime goals. Of those 15 goals, eight have occurred during the third period or overtime. Perry has helped lead Anaheim to a 9-2-0 record in those 11 games. He also has recorded 10-4=14 points during a current seven-game scoring streak.
•         Perry is one of only three NHL players since 2000-01 to record more than 40 goals and 100 penalty minutes in a single season. Perry (44 and 100, respectively), joins Todd Bertuzzi (2002-03 with Vancouver, 46 and 144) and Jeff O'Neill (2000-2001 with Carolina, 41 and 106).
•         Now leading the league in goals, it was only 21 days ago (Mar. 9) that Perry was sixth in the league (31), 10 behind then league-leader Steven Stamkos (41). On Feb. 5, Perry was tied for eighth among NHL leaders with 25 goals, 14 behind league-leader Stamkos (39).
•         Perry has scored a career-high three shorthanded goals this season, matching the club record, set several times.
•         He has two tricks this season: Dec. 12, vs. MIN: scored his first career-hat trick as part of a career and franchise-tying five-point game (3-2=5) was the second time in club history a player has scored a hat trick on the PP, at EV and SH (also P. Kariya, 1/10/97 vs. BUF)…Feb. 5 @ COL: Had 3-0=3 points in a 3-0 shutout, becoming the first becoming the first player in Ducks history to score ALL three of his team's goals in a win. Perry also became the first player in team history to record a hat trick while scoring every goal in a shutout. He is just the fourth player to accomplish the feat in an NHL game over the last six seasons (also Philadelphia's Mike Knuble, 2/2/08; Buffalo's Thomas Vanek, 4/5/08; Columbus’ Rick Nash, 11/20/10; all in 3-0 wins).
•         Perry scored back-to-back OT goals (first two of his career) on Mar. 19 at LA and Mar. 20 vs. CGY, becoming the first Ducks player to record OT goals in back-to-back games and the first in the NHL to do so since Todd Bertuzzi (DET) on Dec. 11-12, 2009.
•         Perry is attempting to become only the second Ducks player to lead the NHL in goals. Teemu Selanne led the league outright with 47 in 1998-99 and shared the lead with Peter Bondra (52) in 1997-98.
•         The Ducks have had two previous Hart Trophy finalists (MVP): Paul Kariya (1996-97) and Teemu Selanne (1997-98). No Ducks player has ever won the award. The only players on California-based teams to WIN the Hart are Wayne Gretzky (Los Angeles, 1988-89) and Joe Thornton (San Jose, 2005-06).

Perry spoke to media via conference call on Friday:

On the Maurice Richard Trophy
I don’t know if you can ever say you are going to win it. You need a lot of bounces and great teammates to play with. I give a lot of credit to them. Recently, it’s been going well. I’m just trying to help the team win. That is all I’m worried about.

On 50 goals
It is tough not to think about it. You never know what can happen in the last couple of games. We only have a handful of games left. We will see how it goes.

On his month of March
You just go into every game expecting to play well. Things happened in March that do not happen very often. You go out, play your game and see what happens. March was a good month. Hopefully there is more to come.

On Teemu Selanne
He’s a guy that comes to the rink every day with a smile on his face and just loves the game. He’s been that way ever since I have known him. The recognition that he’s getting now is nothing new to us. He’s done it his whole career. It seems like he’s passing somebody every night.

The way he carries himself off the ice and watching himself the last six years has been enough for me. The way he works in practice is truly amazing at 40 years old. It doesn’t seem like he’s aging at all. Hopefully he comes back for a couple more years. Getzy and I have a running joke in the dressing room that we are three quarters of the way there of getting him to come back. Hopefully he’s listening to us.

On Ray Emery
We needed somebody to step up when Hillsy went down. He came in and has done what everybody has asked of him. I don’t know if too many people know the story behind his surgery and everything. He’s gone beyond expectations and taken this team to another level.

On Cam Fowler
There has been a lot of talk about how he did drop in the draft. We are very happy to have him. He is playing big minutes for us and plays on our power play. He’s going to quarterback our power play for a long time. He’s only 19 years old and doing all these great things. He’s scoring game-winners for us in overtime and jumping up in the rush. He’s playing beyond his years.

On the resiliency of the team
When guys go down with injuries, people have to step up and fill those holes. Guys in the dressing room realized what was going on and where we were in the standings. We had to overcome all of those injuries. It’s not an easy thing to do when you have two big guys go down that carry this team. Everybody stepped up. We ran with what we had.

Nobody wants to start the season the way we did. We were 0-3. We’ve gone through some tough stretches. We know what it feels like and don’t want to go back there. Going into the playoffs that is going to help us.

On tomorrow night’s game against the Sharks
They are playing well and healthy. We’re playing well and healthy. It’s going to be a lot of excitement and fun. We’re trying to climb up the standings and get to possible the fourth or fifth seed. You never know what can happen.

On his evolution as a goal-scorer
I think I play the same way I did back in London (in the OHL). The puck is going into the back puck of the net when need be. I give a lot of credit to Ryan and Bobby. They have done everything they can do. They are finding me and I’m just trying to get open in the slot.

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