CALGARY, Alberta -- Corey Perry will be playing his 1,000th regular season game tonight.
That's both odd and special. Perry played his entire career with the Anaheim Ducks before they bought him out in the summer and the Stars signed him as a free agent. So the fact that Perry's 12th game with the Stars is his 1,000th overall makes things just a little different.
That said, Perry said he is happy where he is and happy to be crossing this milestone.
"You never know what to expect when you come into this league," Perry said. "You just go day by day, year by year, and they add up quickly over time. There's a lot of great friendships I've made along the way, great memories, and things I'll never forget."
Perry joined the Stars in the summer, but then fractured his foot before training camp began and missed the entire preseason and the first seven games of the season. Since that time, he has played 11 straight with Dallas and has two goals and two assists in that span. He is averaging 13:41 in time on ice per game.
Stars coach Jim Montgomery said he has enjoyed having Perry in the lineup and said he has a brilliant hockey mind.
Video: Perry looks forward to reaching special milestone
"He's a hockey player. I think that's the best compliment you can give anybody," Montgomery said. "What a great career he's had, and 1,000th game for anybody is a tremendous achievement."
Perry will receive a silver stick for this accomplishment. He will put it in his trophy room at his home in London, Ontario, and it should have plenty of company. Perry has been a member of the 2007 Stanley Cup champions, won the Hart Trophy as league MVP in 2011, was MVP of the Memorial Cup in junior hockey (2005), and also won gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics.
Perry was asked how he stays motivated after 1,000 games, and he said he simply loves the game of hockey.
"It's not easy every single night, but you find ways to push yourself and keep yourself motivated and try to stay young," he said. "That's the biggest thing, just try to have fun with it every night. You come to the rink every single day with a smile on your face, and keep putting the work in."
Asked how he feels trying to fit in with the Stars, Perry said: "It's a work in progress. I think I fit in with the guys…You've got to prove yourself every day in this league, and that's what I'm trying to do."
Perry said he'll understand the impact of the game more once he gets on the ice tonight.
"It's a pretty huge accomplishment. …There's only so many guys that have done it in this league," he said. "I'll think about it more when it's over and done with."
What to watch
Montgomery criticized Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin for their lack of production this season after a 3-2 OT loss in Winnipeg Sunday. He then apologized for that criticismTuesday, and all parties said there has been much talking in the past three days.
That means a lot of the focus in this game will be on how Benn and Seguin respond. Montgomery moved Seguin to right wing for this game in hopes of allowing the right-handed shot a better chance at scoring goals. It's just the second time Seguin has started a game at right wing under Montgomery. Seguin has one goal in the past 13 games and Benn is in a career-long 13-game goal drought.
"You should get more offense being a winger," Seguin said. "Obviously, you're not all the way down in your own zone. No matter where you are on the ice, I'm doing to go out there and do my job, whether it's the first-line center or fourth-line right wing."
Video: DAL@CGY: Stars ready for 'dangerous' Flames team
Montgomery is going to have Justin Dowling center Benn and Seguin. That may seem an odd choice as the 29-year-old has played just 33 NHL games and has three assists in that span, but Dowling is an offensive leader when he plays in the AHL, and Montgomery said he believes Dowling can be the right fit.
"He's a smart player who has had success playing with offensive players his whole career, so we're hoping that can generate some more offense through all of the lines," Montgomery said. "With three games in four days coming up, we're going to have to play four lines."
In his AHL career, Dowling has 301 points (99 goals, 201 assists) in 435 games.
Janmark out with lower-body injury
Ben Bishop is in goal. He is 5-5-1 on the year with a 2.22 GAA and .928 save percentage. He is 8-6-2 in his career against the Flames with a 2.03 GAA and .925 save percentage.
Mattias Janmark is out with a lower-body injury, so Nick Caamano has been called up and Montgomery has shuffled his lines. Janmark was playing with Dowling and Perry, but Caamano will play with Joe Pavelski and Denis Gurianov. Perry will move up to a line with Alexander Radulov and Jason Dickinson, and Dowling will center Benn and Seguin.
Roman Polak is not ready to return from his sternum injury (he's probable for Thursday at Vancouver), so defensive pairs will stay the same.
By the numbers
Benn has 33 points (18 goals, 15 assists) in 32 career games against the Flames. Tyler Seguin has 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 21 games vs. Calgary.
The Flames are tied for most times shorthanded in the NHL at 73. They also rank fifth on the penalty kill at 86.3 percent.
Perry has played three of his milestone games in the NHL against Dallas (games 200, 500 and 800). He will play his 1,000th game as a member of the Stars.
He said it
"I've got to try to find a better balance, I guess. Because, obviously, when you're looking at an 18-game segment, there's more bad than good right now. I can be accountable and take ownership of that. Monty came in today and apologized today. I didn't necessarily need the apology. I understand. I understand I've got to get better. Try to turn it around tomorrow night."
-- Seguin on how he wants to improve his offensive output, starting Wednesday against Calgary.
Stars projected lineup
Jamie Benn - Justin Dowling - Tyler Seguin
Alexander Radulov - Jason Dickinson - Corey Perry
Nick Caamano - Joe Pavelski - Denis Gurianov
Andrew Cogliano - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau
Esa Lindell - Andrej Sekera
Jamie Oleksiak - Miro Heiskanen
Joel Hanley - Taylor Fedun
Injuries: C Mattias Janmark (lower body), C Roope Hintz (lower body), D John Klingberg (lower body), D Roman Polak (sternum), D Stephen Johns (post-traumatic headaches), C Martin Hanzal (back).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.
Mike Heika is a Senior Staff Writer for DallasStars.com and has covered the Stars since 1994. Follow him on Twitter @MikeHeika, and listen to his podcast.