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Perry apologetic after early ejection from Winter Classic

The Stars winger was assessed a game misconduct in the first period for elbowing Nashville's Ellis

by Jeff Odom @jeffodom / DallasStars.com

DALLAS -- Corey Perry's Winter Classic lasted all of two minutes and 44 seconds on Wednesday.

The veteran winger was ejected from the Dallas Stars' 4-2 win at Cotton Bowl Stadium in the opening minutes of the first period after being assessed a game misconduct for elbowing Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis.

Ellis, who was attempting a shot in Nashville's attacking zone at the blueline when Perry delivered a blow to the head with his elbow up, fell to the ice and remained down for several moments. He was assisted off by teammates Viktor Arvidsson and Austin Watson before departing down the long pathway toward the tunnel with Nashville's training staff. Ellis was ruled out the rest of the game with an upper-body injury.

Tweet from @BradyTrett: Corey Perry gets thrown out of the Winter Classic for elbowing Ryan Ellis pic.twitter.com/0yeegUxh41

After being initially sent to the penalty box, officials instead assessed the 34-year-old Perry a game misconduct, a major penalty that led to his dismissal -- the first-ever in a Winter Classic.

Perry was apologetic afterward and said he "didn't mean to hurt" Ellis.

Video: NSH@DAL: Bowness on emotions of Winter Classic win

"I went to the bench to get a stick and came back. I reached out to try to deflect the puck or whatever. It was unfortunate," said Perry, who will have a hearing Friday with the NHL's Department of Player Safety. "I've played with Ryan before and I know him personally. It's very unintentional. I didn't mean to hurt him and I hope he's OK.

"This is a big event. I'm sure he had family in here and I definitely had family here. It's tough. I just hope he's OK."

The Predators took advantage of the five-minute opportunity on the man advantage, building an early 2-0 lead on power-play goals by Matt Duchene and Dante Fabbro. Dallas, however, rallied back with four unanswered scores of its own in a come-from-behind victory.

"Corey Perry is a great competitor -- a wonderful, wonderful player," Stars interim coach Rick Bowness said after the game. "Sometimes in hockey when you go to make a hit, you get into some unfortunate situations.

"Corey Perry would never try to hurt anyone. He would play hard, but intention? No."

 

Comeau rebounds after scary hit

Video: NSH@DAL: Comeau finishes off the feed from Dickinson

Stars forward Blake Comeau had quite the afternoon.

He left the game midway through the first period after taking a heavy hit from Austin Watson, who sent Comeau flying to the ice where his head appeared to bounce off the playing surface.


He then returned for the second where he scored the Stars' first goal, finishing a feed from Jason Dickinson at 18:52, which led to Dallas' offensive explosion that included three tallies in the final frame.

"It was a big hit ... (but) it's part of the game," Comeau told NBC during the second intermission.

 

Odds and ends

Video: NSH@DAL: Aikman, Williams drop Winter Classic puck

  • Bowness became the only the third bench boss in league history to serve in a head-coaching role across five different decades, joining Hall of Famers Pat Quinn and Scotty Bowman.

  • With a puck-drop temperature of 54.9 degrees Fahrenheit, Dallas set a new NHL record for the "warmest" Winter Classic ever and the fourth-warmest for an NHL regular-season outdoor game. The highest temperature recorded at puck drop for an NHL regular-season outdoor game was 65 degrees for the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Coors Field in Denver.

  • Dallas Cowboys legend Troy Aikman and former University of Texas star Ricky Williams dropped the ceremonial puck before the game.

  • Stoppage entertainment at Cotton Bowl Stadium included racing pigs with creative names like Tyler "SWINE"in, "PORK"-a-rinne, Joe "PORK"velski, Andrew "HOG"-liano and Ro-"HAM" Josi.

  • With the Stars' victory, home teams evened their record in outdoor games at 13-13-3 overall, including an 8-1-1 mark in the last 10. Road teams fell to 16-9-4.

  • The league announced that the 2021 Winter Classic will be played at Target Field in Minneapolis and hosted by the Minnesota Wild. The opponent is still to be announced.

 

They said it

"It was perfect. ... My wife actually said to me this morning, she goes, 'Well, what if the game was over the weekend?' I said, 'We'd be going to a movie.'"

-- NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Wednesday's weather during the Winter Classic

Video: Gary Bettman and E.J. talk about the Winter Classic

"From another set of eyes, from a fan's perspective, that was great hockey, man. That was a great hockey game, regardless of the outcome. ... If I was out there watching that game, and I was watching this on television, I'd say that was an awesome event. The whole thing was awesome."

-- Bowness on his first Winter Classic

Don't miss your chance to see the Stars take on the Detroit Red Wings at American Airlines Center on Friday at 7:30 p.m. Get your tickets now!

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club.

Jeff Odom is the manager of DallasStars.com and writes about the Stars/NHL. Follow him on Twitter @jeffodom.

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