DALLAS — Corey Perry doesn’t spend much time thinking about playing his 1,000th NHL game, which he is expected to do Wednesday when the Dallas Stars play the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome (9:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN1, FS-SW, NHL.TV), but that does not mean he’s unaware of the milestone’s significance.
“It’s a pretty huge accomplishment,” the Stars forward said. “There’s only so many guys that have done it in this league. It just shows that you put in some work, and I also had some injuries along the way. There’s been some hard work put in and a lot of sacrifice. I’ll think about it more when it’s over and done with.”
The 34-year-old played his first 988 games with the Anaheim Ducks, who bought out his contract June 19. He signed a one-year contract with the Stars on July 1. Had he not missed the first seven games this season because of a foot injury, Perry could have played his 1,000th game against the Ducks on Oct. 24.
“If it was earlier in the season, it would’ve been against Anaheim,” Perry said. “But things don’t always happen that way, and things work out for a reason. We’re going on the road now, and hopefully I’ll hit it there.”
He is second in games played with the Ducks, behind good friend Ryan Getzlaf, who has played 1,002 games with Anaheim and reached 1,000 milestone Nov. 3.
Perry is the third-leading scorer in Anaheim history with 776 points (372 goals, 404 assists) and won the Stanley Cup in 2007. He also was voted the Hart Trophy winner as NHL MVP and the Rocket Richard Trophy for being the League’s leading goal-scorer (50) in 2011.
Now he is finding his way with the Stars (8-8-2). He has four points (two goals, two assists) in 11 games this season, and Dallas is 7-3-1 with him in the lineup after starting 1-5-1 without him.
“I was in Anaheim for so long,” Perry said. “I’ve only been here for 11 games now. But everything that has gone on here, they’ve done everything first-class. Everything has been great. I have no complaints there.”
The Stars are on a five-game point streak (4-0-1) and have allowed one goal in six of their past nine. Perry said he is confident things are looking up.
“We have to keep playing the same exact way, and it’s been successful for us so far,” Perry said. “You have to do the exact same thing, keep pushing forward, and making sure everybody is on the same page.”
His focus is on the Stars and regaining his scoring touch — he has one goal in his past eight games — rather than on reaching a career milestone.
“I haven’t had the time,” Perry said. “It’s just game by game right now and trying to think about what’s going on next.”