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Penalties get Perry a spot on bench

DUCKS REPORT

December 10, 2007|Eric Stephens | Times Staff Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Corey Perry insists he got the message.

Angered by the winger's recent rash of penalties in the offensive zone, the latest occurring Saturday night in a 4-2 loss to the Nashville Predators, Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle benched his leading goal scorer for all but one shift in the third period.

The final straw came at the end of the second when the Ducks, trailing, 3-1, gained a power play after Nashville's Martin Erat was called for hooking. Seven seconds later, Perry was whistled for slashing and a chance to mount a comeback was quashed.

Perry has 15 goals and part of his success is his willingness to deal with defensemen in front of the net and his ability to get under their skin. But it's becoming clear that he is developing a reputation with NHL officials.

Over the last nine games, Perry has drawn 10 minor penalties, many of which have come while the Ducks were on the attack.

"First and foremost, he cannot be less aggressive, but he has to be more careful with the use of his stick," Carlyle said Sunday. "He gets no leeway from the officials because he's a player that's scrappy. And they deem at times that he embellishes.

"And they're constantly on him about it. Verbally. Because I've seen it. He gets no slack in that respect."

Perry says he's finding it tough at times to recognize how much he can do to pester an opposing player before the whistle blows.

"Those kind of penalties in the offensive zone, you can't take," Perry said. "I've taken too many lately. [Carlyle] warned me and it came down to what he had to do last night.

"It's one of those things where you have to be disciplined. You have to know what to do and what not to do at the right time."

Carlyle called it "an area of concern and an area of huge improvement." But he also hopes the example he set in cutting Perry's ice time will be felt by everyone else in light of the team's penalty-marred performance Saturday.

"If we're going to do that, they're not going to play," Carlyle said. "That's the only thing I have left at our disposal and it's to cut back minutes on a player that is showing either lack of control or lack of self-discipline. To me, at times, it borders on selfishness."

Said forward Rob Niedermayer: "We can be disciplined and still play aggressive. You look at the lot of penalties, they're a lot hooking and holding. . . . That's what we've got to get away from."

Defenseman Kent Huskins isn't recovering from his sprained knee as quickly as he'd hoped and it's likely he'll miss his third consecutive game.

Huskins injured his knee Wednesday against Buffalo. He said the swelling has gone down since Friday but not enough to get back on the ice.

"I kind of figured it was going to be better in a couple of days and I'd be good as new," he said. "I'm just kind of waiting for some more swelling to go down a little bit. I'll see how it is in the morning."

--

TONIGHT

at Columbus, 4, FSN Prime Ticket

Site -- Nationwide Arena.

Radio -- 830.

Records -- Ducks 14-13-4, Blue Jackets 13-11-5.

Record vs. Blue Jackets -- 1-1-0.

Update -- Ducks center Brian Sutherby skated Monday but is still questionable because of a strained groin. Columbus put veteran David Vyborny on injured reserve because of a hip injury but will have defenseman Duvie Westcott, returning from his second concussion this season.

--

eric.stephens@latimes.com

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