Ducks right wing Corey Perry, center, scores past San Jose goalie Antero… (Gary A. Vasquez / U.S. Presswire )
This was another look-at-me moment for the Ducks' Corey Perry, at least where the Hart Trophy campaign is concerned. He tossed his hat trick into the ring Wednesday.
This, though, was a team moment, and Perry knew it.
His three goals were the backbone to the Ducks' 6-2 stomping of the San Jose Sharks at Honda Center. Teemu Selanne, Cam Fowler and Jason Blake also scored goals.
"I've said all along that getting to the playoffs is more important than winning an award," Perry said.
Perry's production has the Ducks close. He has 19 goals in the last 14 games and an NHL-leading 50 this season. He is the first Duck to reach 50 goals since Selanne in 1997-98.
"We have two games left and he could score 10 more points," Selanne said. "He gets those octopus arms going, it's amazing."
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Perry was the headliner in a blistering performance that had to be a loud message to the Sharks, who could end up facing the Ducks in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Ducks need one victory in their last two games or one Dallas loss to reach the playoffs.
"We showed we belonged and we could beat top teams," Perry said.
A ticket to the postseason seemed all but rubber-stamped before the Ducks lost consecutive games to San Jose and Dallas in the last week. That, though, hardly caused much consternation around the Ducks' dressing room.
"Obviously, you want to be excited, and have butterflies in your stomach," Selanne said. "But when the puck drops, you play normal."
What wasn't normal was the beating the Sharks took.
Perry got it started by splitting three Sharks before flicking a backhand shot for a 1-0 lead 12 minutes 58 seconds into the game.
Selanne, who knows a thing or two about scoring 50 goals, said that "extraordinary people do that. If he doesn't win the MVP, it's a crime."
It became a scoring feast in the second period. The Ducks scored three consecutive power-play goals for a 6-1 lead.
The only glitch for the Ducks was losing goaltender Ray Emery midway through the second period with what the Ducks called "tightness" with a "lower-body injury."
Emery, who spent the last year recovering from hip surgery, has provided some stability with starter Jonas Hiller sidelined because of vertigo.
Hiller has played nine minutes in the last 22 games and continues treatment, though Coach Randy Carlyle said, "The degree of progress, I can't give you an answer to that."
Asked whether Hiller could be dropped cold into the playoffs, Carlyle, who protects goaltender information as if it included his cellphone number, was somewhat candid.
"If it worked, you'd be a genius," Carlyle said. "If it didn't work, you'd be questioned. He hasn't played in two months. If he says to you, 'I'm ready,' there has to be a strong consideration."