The most recent loss, a 2-0 shutout by the Dallas Stars, really hurt. Literally. Corey Perry was boarded by Stephane Robidas in the middle of the second period. Robidas received a minor penalty, but Perry was very shaken up and in pain, having hit his shoulder hard.
Perry stayed on the bench for a while, then went to the locker room. He came back on in the third period, but was only able to take a couple shifts and then left for good.
Reports after the game were that xrays on the shoulder came back negative and he was listed as day to day.
"If the [Perry] penalty wasn’t a five-minute penalty, I don’t know what is," said coach Bruce Boudreau. "He’s in the most vulnerable position. Head first going into the boards and he’s getting a shove. Whether it’s a little shove or a big shove, it’s a shove of a defenseless person into the boards. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that. And you put your best player out in a game we had to win. Any hit that’s into the boards for a defenseless person … isn’t that one of the criteria."
Robidas faced no additional discipline from the NHL, but the Ducks will likely be without Perry for at least one game, in Colorado on Monday night. Perry has played 272 games straight. The last time he was out of the line up was when his thigh was sliced by Jose Theodore's skate blade in March 2008 in a fluke accident.
Perry was also hit hard in the St. Louis game and appeared to have hurt his shoulder then. That certainly did not help things.
Not only will the Ducks have to play without their best player on the ice, they will also have to figure out their power play, which is dismal. Missing Perry for half the game on Saturday night did not help the Ducks any in that regard. Missing him for all of a game could be worse.
Brendan Morrow, who had missed 18 games, returned to the Stars line up and scored the game winning goal. His power play tally at 2:37 of the second period was all that Dallas needed to defeat Anaheim. They did play the rest of the game, though, just in case something different might happen. It did not.
"Those four-footers with an empty cage are pretty easy to hit sometimes," Morrow said. "Jamie Benn made a great play to hit me backdoor with an empty net."
Jonas Hiller did keep the Ducks in the game and the only other tally for Dallas was an empty net goal by Michael Ryder at 19:14 of the third period. That sealed it for Dallas, who won five of six games this season against the Ducks. Ouch.'
Kari Lehtonen stopped 21 shots for the shutout.
Anaheim now heads to Colorado. They will be without Perry's services, but have recalled Kyle Palmieri from Syracuse. Palmieri joins Ryan O'Marra, who was recalled a few days prior due to a knee injury to Nick Bonino.
Looking at the standings and the numbers, the Ducks cannot afford a third loss in a row.