Perry surprises FDNY crew on eve of 9/11 anniversary.

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(Photo by Getty Images)

From the Ducks:

Corey Perry visited FDNY’s Engine 34, Ladder 21 last night in
the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. The station, which was
hit hard on Sept. 11, 2001, has its own pickup hockey league and
received a surprise
visit from the league’s MVP. In tribute to all members of the FDNY and
in memory of those lost on Sept. 11, 2001, Perry presented the
firefighters with a framed jersey from the Ducks organization. Perry
greeted the firefighters, signed autographs and was given
a special tour of the firehouse. The firefighters took pride in showing
Perry their personal version of the Stanley Cup (silver cooler with a
silver cup on top) after capturing a recent victory. They presented
Perry with a FDNY hat, t-shirt and patch.

 

Engine 34, Ladder 21 lost seven men on Sept. 11,
2001 in the attacks on the World Trade Center. While at the station,
Perry listened to their personal accounts and offered his thanks for
their service and dedication.

Perry’s Hart Trophy highlights Ducks’ haul on awards night.

Corey Perry gave the Ducks the franchise’s first Hart Trophy on Wednesday, edging out Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin for the NHL’s most valuable player award.

Perry’s 50-goal season earned him 67 first-place votes, 47 second-place votes and 1,043 points. Sedin collected 960 points — 51 first-place votes and 56 second-place votes; only eight other first-place votes were cast. Martin St. Louis of Tampa Bay finished a distant third.

Perry’s credentials gained steam late in the season. The right wing tied for the league lead in game-winning goals (11) and ranked third in points (98); his 21 third-period goals also led the league.

Perry also received the Rocket Richard Trophy for leading the league in goal scoring.

Two other Ducks received Hart votes – Ryan Getzlaf tied Sidney Crosby and Kris Letang for 20th, and Lubomir Visnovsky tied Chris Pronger for 23rd.

Visnovsky was rewarded for his career year with a fourth-place finish in the race for the Norris Trophy. Visnovsky received 20 first-place votes; fifth-place finisher Keith Yandle of Phoenix received five first-place votes. Detroit’s Nicklas Lidstrom won the award for the seventh time. Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman received a single fourth-place vote to finish 13th in the Norris voting.

Defenseman Cam Fowler finished eighth in the Calder Trophy voting for the league’s top rookie. Fowler received seven fourth-place votes and six fifth-place votes. He can take solace in finishing ahead of ninth-place Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers, the first overall pick at the 2010 entry draft.

Ducks GM Bob Murray finished fourth in the General Manager of the Year award race, behind winner Mike Gillis, Tampa Bay’s Steve Yzerman and Nashville’s David Poile. Murray collected four first-place votes, three second-place votes and six third-place votes.

Ray Emery finished second in voting for the Bill Masterton Trophy, which went to Philadelphia Flyers forward Ian Laperriere. The award, created by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, is given to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.”

Teemu Selanne collected nine first-place votes but finished sixth in the voting for the Lady Byng Trophy, awarded for “sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct.” Visnovsky finished 13th.

Randy Carlyle collected one second-place vote and two third-place votes to finish tied for 11th (with Peter Laviolette of Philadelphia) in the Jack Adams Award voting.

Among Wednesday’s other winners, Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler won the Selke Trophy; former Mighty Ducks forward Dan Bylsma won the Adams; Canucks goalies Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider shared the Ken Jennings Award for allowing the fewest goals in the regular season; Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara won the Mark Messier Leadership Award; Kings forward Dustin Brown won the NHL Foundation Award.

Ducks 6, Nashville 3.

The Ducks played like a different team in Game 4 compared to Game 3. In part, they were.

Sheldon Brookbank, Kyle Palmieri and Brad Winchester came out of the lineup; and Andy Sutton, Andreas Lilja and Jarkko Ruutu went in — but the biggest difference in the 6-3 win seemed to be the Ducks’ resolve.

Goals by Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Brandon McMillan in the third period broke a 3-3 tie, and the series shifts back to Anaheim on Friday tied at two games apiece.

Goals by Cam Fowler and Saku Koivu staked the Ducks to a 2-0 lead in the game’s first 5:14. Patric Hornqvist answered 34 seconds later for Nashville, and Joel Ward’s power-play goal at 5:44 of the second period tied the game at 2.

Teemu Selanne deflected a Getzlaf shot past Pekka Rinne with the Ducks on the power play at 11:41 of the second period to temporarily restore the one-goal lead. But Kevin Klein and Matt Halischuk caught the Anaheim defense napping, with Klein setting up Halischuk for the equalizer at 14:15.

A delay of game penalty to Nick Bonino with 31.5 seconds left in the second period carried over to the third period, and could have given the Predators the break they were looking for. Instead, Perry scored short-handed 1:17 into the third period to give the Ducks all the momentum they needed. Nashville put only three shots on Ray Emery (19 saves) in the entire third period.

The Ducks outshot Nashville 38-22 in the game, and Rinne wasn’t around to see the end of it. He was lifted for Anders Lindback after McMillan’s goal at 6:46 of the third period.

“We just felt that the way we played the other night, we needed a little bit more size on the back end,” Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle said. “We hadn’t played Sutton and Lilja in a while. We thought that some of our younger players — specifically Sbisa and Bonino … McMillan and Beleskey, those are all very young players — we just felt they would be more comfortable with a 6-foot-5 defenseman and another 6-foot-3, 220-pound defenseman on the back end.”

A few more notes and observations:
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Nashville 4, Ducks 1.

You can pick apart where the Ducks’ playoff opener went wrong: A Matt Beleskey penalty here, a Pekka Rinne save there, a missed assignment or two or three.

Corey Perry, always a man of few words, hit the nail on the head: “We just didn’t have it.”

As it turns out, the Ducks’ late-game magic is predicated on confidence. By the middle of the middle period they had none — confidence or magic — thanks to an outstanding performance by Rinne and the Predators’ disciplined ‘D’.

Even the 5-on-3 power play that preceded Teemu Selanne’s goal in the third period was a haphazard hodgepodge of starts and stops. Fortunately for the Ducks, he and Saku Koivu got it together in time to ruin the shutout.

But Rinne’s intimidation factor remained intact.

“We played really solid defensively and our strength is penalty killing,” said the 6-foot-5 goaltender, who finished with 27 saves. “We did a good job again tonight. We played big, we played physical in our own zone and tried to limit our turnovers. On the other hand, when they turned the puck over, we executed and scored some huge goals and got the momentum going for us. We’ll enjoy this game for a bit and try to get it done in the next game.”

Check out the game details, and a variety of reasons for the Ducks’ letdown from players and coaches, in tomorrow’s editions. Some notes and observations that won’t make the paper:
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Ducks 6, San Jose 2.

The only thing clinched at Honda Center on Wednesday was Corey Perry’s Hart Trophy bid. But we’ll get to that in a minute.

The Ducks’ surprisingly lopsided win over the Sharks did not ensure a playoff berth but was still badly needed. The Chicago Blackhawks temporarily moved into seventh place in the Western Conference standings with an overtime win against St. Louis. Calgary briefly matched the Ducks at 93 points in the standings with its win over Edmonton, putting further pressure on Anaheim to win its game in hand on the Flames.

The Sharks had been steamrolling everyone, but gently applied the brakes Wednesday after locking up the Pacific Division title two days earlier.

Gritty forward Ryane Clowe took the night off. Top players like Patrick Marleau (15:50), Dany Heatley (14:39), Joe Thornton (11:12) and Logan Couture (14:15) didn’t get top-player minutes. Backup goalie Antero Niittymaki got his first start in nearly three months — Jan. 13 was his last — and the Ducks took full advantage.

Perry completed his third hat trick this season (also the third of his career) in the game’s first 31 minutes, causing a mass litter of headgear on the Honda Center ice and pausing the Ducks’ onslaught at 4-1. The last of the three goals, a Perry-patented, long-armed flick of the wrist through traffic, made him the league’s first 50-goal scorer.

Teemu Selanne and Jason Blake added goals later in the period, and rookie defenseman Cam Fowler got his 10th of the season in the first stanza.

But tonight figures to go down as the night that M-V-P became more than just a loud exercise in wishful thinking.
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Perry named ‘First star of the Week’; does he have a Hart?

Alright, give the man some big awards already …

Three days after being named the NHL’s player of the month for March, Ducks forward Corey Perry was named “First star of the week” for the week ending Sunday. Perry had a league-best eight points (three goals, five assists) in four games. He’s been one of the league-appointed three stars of the week in each of the past four weeks, which almost never happens.

Perry leads the NHL in goals (47), is
tied for second place in game-winning goals (10) and ranks third
in points (47-46–93). He has an active nine-game scoring streak,
during which he has tallied 18 points (11 goals, seven assists) and a plus-9
rating.

It’s reasonable to expect that some major individual awards will follow. The only player with a realistic chance of catching Perry for the Rocket Richard Trophy, Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, has 44 goals with three games left on the schedule for both the Lightning and Ducks.

As for the Hart Trophy, given to the league’s MVP, the list of candidates more worthy than Perry is getting shorter.
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Stars 4, Ducks 3.

It’s never a good day when a coach is asked to recall an overturned goal that went against his team, and has to specify which one.

It hasn’t been a good weekend for Randy Carlyle and the Ducks.

Back-to-back losses to the Sharks and Stars have put their playoff plans on hold, and this one was frustrating on a couple counts. Namely, Teemu Selanne’s goal at 17:56 of the third period and Bobby Ryan’s goal at 19:11, neither of which counted in the eyes of referee Brad Meier.

Those tended to overshadow the goals that counted — by Lubomir Visnovsky, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry — and the fact the Ducks played like a group worn down by Saturday night’s loss in San Jose. The low point was probably a 5-on-3 shift spanning 80 seconds of the middle period during which the Ducks couldn’t get off a shot from within 20 feet of Kari Lehtonen.

Ray Emery (27 saves) lost his second game as a Duck, second game of the season, and second in as many days.

Tomorrow’s game story focuses on the reaction in the Ducks’ room to the calls by Meier, whose crew also missed a too many men on the ice call against Dallas in the second period. There was plenty of steam to be blown off, and Carlyle instructed his players to “do nothing” tomorrow — no practice, no golf — just recharge the batteries for another game against the Sharks on Wednesday, with a playoff berth at stake again.

A few more notes:
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Perry named NHL’s player of the month.

The latest accolade for Corey Perry might not be the last.

The Ducks’ right wing was named the NHL’s Player of the Month on Friday. He finished March with a league-leading 15 goals, bringing his league-leading season total to 46 and becoming just the
fifth NHL player since Jan. 1997 to score 15 goals in a single
month.

The first question he took on a national conference call was about what might be next: The Rocket Richard Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL’s leading goal-scorer.

I don’t know if you can ever say that you’re going to win
it,” Perry said. “I mean, you have to have a lot of great bounces and teammates to
play with. I have to give a lot of credit to them. Recently it’s been
going well, and you know, I’m just trying to help the team win. That’s
all I’m worried about.

Perry’s 15 goals were the most in a single month in franchise history. Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne previously shared
the record (Kariya had 13 in January, 2000 and Selanne recorded 13 in
November, 1997).

For the season, Perry is also tied for
first in the league game-winning goals (10, also Daniel Sedin and Alex Ovechkin).
He’s tied for fourth in points (89) and power-play goals (12), and tied for
eighth in short-handed goals (3). He also ranks second among all NHL
forwards in ice time (22:07), which is also first among all right
wingers.

You
just go into every game expecting to play well,” Perry said. “Things happened in
March that doesn’t happen very often. It’s one of those things where you
go out, you play your game, and you see what happens.
But you know, March was a good month, and hopefully there’s more to come.”

March was a good month for a few Ducks.
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Ducks 5, Colorado 4.

There’s really no such thing as a ho-hum win in Anaheim these days.

Monday could have been, given the matchup between two teams on opposite ends of the playoff picture. But an early 2-0 lead by the Avalanche, and the first three-goal, five-point game by an NHL player over the age of 40 changed that.

Teemu Selanne did not so much steal the show — he was the show, figuring into all five Ducks goals on a night when they needed every one.

“I’ve been feeling great all year,” he said. “I’ve been able to play with great players all the time. It has been fun. That’s the only reason I’m still around.”

The questions of whether or not Selanne will retire, but Monday’s game could only nudge him in the “should-I-stay” direction.

Here are some of the milestones Selanne achieved, courtesy of the Ducks’ PR staff:
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