Corey Perry deserves at least 10 wings for his third hat trick of the year. Perry's hat trick midway through the second period was goal #50 for the season. No Duck has scored more than 52 in a season, and there are still two games left to be played.
Who scored 52 goals? None other than Teemu Selanne in 1997-1998. Selanne also had three hat tricks that season. How fitting that Selanne was the guy who passed the puck to Perry for goal #50.
Perry, who was named the player of the month for March, and earned his third player of the week honors in the past month. All of a sudden, people are talking about the Western Conference and uttering things like "Hart" and "MVP." Daniel Sedin who? Perry is only three points behind Sedin and at the rate he is scoring, he'll overtake him for scoring leader by the end of the season. Perry has already blown Steven Stamkos out of the water for the Maurice Richard Trophy.
"It's pretty exciting," said Perry after the game. "You think back to the whole season and what you have accomplished and all the help you get from teammates. To do it in front of your own fans and family in town for the game, it's nice to get that done. Fifty is a huge number. Everybody talks about it. There's not a whole lot of people that get to do that and be in that category. It hasn't really sunk in. I don't think it will until it's all said and done and summertime comes."
In addition to Perry's three goals, Cam Fowler, Selanne and Jason Blake all contributed on the power play that was 4 for 6 on the evening. Selanne's power play goal was #236 of his career, which ties him with Mario Lemieux for 5th overall.
Dan Boyle and Ben Eager made sure it was not a shut out, but the Sharks never seemed to be in the game. Their inability to learn that taking penalties was a bad idea certainly did not help their cause.
"Usually, we're pretty disciplined all of the time, but tonight was kind of uncharacteristic of us," said Sharks captain Joe Thornton. "Sometimes you just lose focus a little bit."
Ray Emery left midway through the second period and was announced as having a "minor" injury. He spent the remainder of the game on the bench after going to the dressing room for what was initially thought to be an equipment problem. Emery stopped 22 shots before turning over duties to Dan Ellis, who also held his own with 14 saves.
Considering that the Sharks have been on a nice winning streak and have only lost in regulation five times since January 13, makes the Anaheim victory that much sweeter.
"We were able to play with one of the best teams in the league and that is great," Ryan Getzlaf observed. "We have a big two games here to win and make sure we’re in the playoffs."
The Ducks still need two points to clinch a playoff spot, and hope to earn them either Friday at home or Saturday in LA against the Kings.
At this time last year, tee times were already set. What a difference a year makes!