Corey Perry named NHL’s top player for March, eyes 50-goal barrier

With five games to play in the NHL season, red-hot Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry knows the 50-goal barrier is within reach.

“It is tough not to think about it,” Perry told a media conference call Friday after being named the NHL’s player of the month. “You never know what can happen in the last couple games. We’ve only get a handful of games left and we’ll see how it goes.”

Perry leads the NHL with 46 goals. He’s two ahead of Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, the reigning Rocket Richard Award co-winner with Sidney Crosby.

The winner of that award has scored at least 50 goals every year since the lockout.

The 25-year-old Perry is the fifth NHL player since January 1997 to score 15 goals in a single month. Amazingly, he was 10 goals behind Stamkos at the start of March and managed to race past him while helping the Ducks to an 11-3-0 record.

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Vancouver Canucks winger Daniel Sedin was named the NHL’s second star of the month for March after putting up 21 points (9-12) in 15 games while Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne was given the third star. He posted a 9-3-2 record.

The rookie of the month was given to Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer, who went 9-4-1.

But the month belonged to Perry. His output included four game-winning goals as Anaheim surged back into the tight playoff picture in the Western Conference.

Perry has always been more of a playmaker—his career-best NHL total had been 32 goals—and doesn’t have much of an explanation for the sudden scoring surge.

“Things happened in March that don’t happen very often,” said Perry. “It’s one of those things where you go out and you play your game and you see what happens.

“March was a good month and hopefully there’s more to come.”