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Perfect 10: Perry gives Stars hope with 'unreal' effort in needed win

Former MVP scores first goal, adds two assists in victory over Flyers to help Dallas snap five-game skid

by Mike Heika @MikeHeika / Senior Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- To quote the movie "Footloose," the Stars this season have needed a hero.

They got one Saturday. OK, two (at least).

In just his third game in a Stars uniform, Corey Perry tallied a goal and added two assists to lead Dallas to a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Now, goalie Ben Bishop also added 38 saves and Roope Hintz had a goal and an assist, but the fact this team doubled its scoring average coming into the game and came up with big goals at the right time, that was mostly Perry.

 

[WATCH: All highlights from Stars' win over Flyers]

 

"He was unreal," said Stars coach Jim Montgomery. "Three games in four nights, his first three games of the year. So very impressive by him. Skilled, poised -- adds character and a little snot to us."

Perry missed much of last season returning from knee surgery. He then slipped on a stair before training camp and was sidelined for a month with a fractured bone in his foot. So the expectation was the 34-year-old winger was going to need some time to recover.

Video: DAL@PHI: Perry goes upstairs to double Stars' lead

Instead, he has jumped in and played well. Perry is playing on a line with Jamie Benn and Roope Hintz. He was a linemate with Benn in international play for Team Canada and is playing with the team's hottest scorer in Hintz. Perry said he likes the dynamic of that line.

"I thought our line played well down low," Perry said. "If we're going to have success, we can't play that one and done. We have to play a hard, physical game, and you look at Roope's goal, and all three of us played the body and Roope made a heck of a play. That's just being a consistent line."

The victory stops a five-game losing streak for the Stars and sends them home with a much-needed victory that pushes the record to 2-7-1. That's still a horrendous start to a season that began with high aspirations, but it allows a little hope to shine through.

After playing seven of the first 10 games on the road in 17 days, Dallas now heads home for six of seven at American Airlines Center. Those seven games (including one at Colorado) will take place over the span of 21 days. It's the kind of break this team could use.

"It's going to be nice to play at home, get some days in between games where we can get our rest and get some practices in and clean it up a little bit. We're all looking forward to it," said Benn.

Video: Montgomery on Stars' gritty road win over Flyers

The Stars are obviously still trying to put things together. They have been hit and miss during the losing streak and they were outshot 39-16 on Saturday. Still, they did a lot of good things. They bounced back from allowing the first goal on the first shot for the third time this season, and they played smart hockey while trying to protect the lead in the third period.

"It was a great team effort," Montgomery said. "I thought we earned that. I know we gave up a lot of shots, but according to our statistics, we only gave up three chances in the third. We kept everything to the outside, which is good team defense reminiscent of last year, and of course Bish was awesome."

Bishop bounced back from allowing that first goal and was his sturdy self. The runner-up for the Vezina Trophy last season, Bishop's numbers have been a reflection of the team this year. However, he was flawless after that first goal.

"It was well fought," Bishop said. "I think everybody did a great job tonight, as far as not giving them too much."

Bishop even got some help in the net as Alexander Radulov helped Bishop on one scramble by getting behind him and kicking out a puck.

Video: DAL@PHI: Bishop turns away Lindblom at the doorstep

"I've always said if we needed a third goalie, he would be the one," Bishop said with a laugh. "He's not afraid of anything, he loves blocking shots and playing goalie. It's good to have him on my team. I'm happy for him, because that was a big sequence there."

Of course, there were plenty of big sequences, and key people came up at key times.

Perry fed Benn, who fed Hintz on the first goal. Perry fed Denis Gurianov, who fed Esa Lindell on the second goal. And Hintz made a great pass to Perry for the third goal, which gave Dallas a 3-1 lead just 1:24 into the third period and led to the Stars shutting things down to get the win.

 

[PHOTO GALLERY: Best shots from Stars-Flyers]

 

Montgomery said of Perry's contributions after the first game: "Real good boost of energy to our group, made some really high-end plays offensively. But the snot he plays with, the grease that he plays with, adds a lot to our team. I think he wills other people into the fight with him."

That was evident again on Saturday, and the Stars hope it will become evident going forward.

Video: Three-point night for Perry propels Stars to victory

"It's going to be great to be home, but we've got a short turnaround before that first game," Montgomery said of Dallas hosting Ottawa on Monday.

"That's the one that concerns us all right now, because after a long road trip usually that first game at home it's a little bit of a sluggish start, but we can't afford a sluggish start. We're behind the eight-ball."

Just a little less so now.

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.

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