Quite possibly one of the most underrated rats in the game today, Corey Perry spent the majority of his NHL career, to date, with the Anaheim Ducks – the team that drafted him 28th overall in 2003. Since then, he’s had stops with the Dallas Stars, the Montreal Canadiens and, most recently, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Over his 17-year career, Perry has secured individual awards like the Rocket Richard Trophy in 2010-11 and the Hart Memorial that same season, and also won the Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2006-07.
Add to that his decorated international career, which has secured him a spot within the Triple Gold Club, and Perry’s hockey career has been one worth talking about.
In 2021-22, Perry is having a resurgence of sorts with the Lightning with 14 goals and 28 points in 50 games played and on Feb. 23, in a game against the Edmonton Oilers, Perry tallied a major milestone goal – the 400th of his career. While it’s just one of many over the span of his career, we thought it would be fun to look back on his other milestone goals over his career and which goalies he scored against.
First Career Goal (Oct. 10, 2005)
Perry made his NHL debut for the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim on Oct. 5, 2005, in a win against the Chicago Blackhawks. While he didn’t score his first career goal, he did register an assist and his first NHL point.
Five nights later, however, Perry netted his first career goal. Fittingly, it came against the same Oilers team that he would eventually score his 400th career goal against. While it was the same crest on the front of the jersey, it wasn’t even close to the same team, including the goalie that allowed Perry to score his first career NHL goal – Jussi Markkanen.
Markkanen, at the time, was a 30-year-old in his first full season with the Oilers and one season away from closing out his NHL career. On that particular night he secured one of his 15 wins that season, but it also put him in Perry’s history book.
The goal was the only point Perry tallied that night and extended his point streak to three games at the time – a streak that would end in his fifth game of the season. As for the goal itself, Perry followed the play into the Oilers’ zone, Markkanen gave up a big rebound and kicked it right out to Perry who potted his inaugural goal.
It was the second goal for the Ducks and put them up two to start the game, but the Oilers battled back and secured the 4-2 win.
As for his career against the Oilers and Markkanen, Perry finished with two goals and three points against the former Oilers’ netminder and torched the organization over his career. To this point, he has 27 goals and 51 points in 63 regular season games against the Oilers and another goal and six points in 11 postseason games against the Canadian franchise.
100th Career Goal (Nov. 3, 2009)
It took him just over four years, but Perry reached the 100-goal plateau during a 2009-10 season that saw him put up almost point-per-game numbers. It was a game on Nov. 3, 2009, that saw Perry reach the milestone and against a likely future Hall of Famer in Marc-Andre Fleury.
At the time, Fleury was in the midst of a big season, playing 67 games that year. While the Penguins took the eventual win, Perry finished the game with two goals – the first of which was his 100th career tally.
As for the goal, it was the opening goal of the game and came just under four minutes in. Scott Niedermayer tallied the only helper on the milestone goal and Perry would eventually add his 10th of the season late in the second period.
Once again, Perry has had good numbers against both the Penguins and Fleury over his career. When it comes to the Penguins, he has 13 goals and 17 points in 20 career regular season games and he has 11 goals and 15 points in 14 regular season games against Fleury. He’s also added three assists in five games against Fleury in the playoffs.
200th Career Goal (Mar. 5, 2012)
Just over two year later, Perry was potting another milestone goal. Low and behold, it was against the Oilers again – this time marking his 200th career regular season goal. Unlike his previous two milestone goals, it came in a Ducks win, but like his 100th goal it was part of a two-goal performance.
This time, however, it came at the hands of Oilers’ goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, who was at the tail end of his career.
With the Ducks up 2-1 midway through the third period, Perry potted his 32nd goal of the season off a pass from Niklas Hagman to give the Ducks a 3-1 lead. He later added his 33rd of the season with just over a minute left.
While we know what he was able to do against the Oilers over his career, his numbers against Khabibulin have been just as impressive. Over 14 regular season games against the veteran goaltender, Perry potted five goals and finished with 12 points. He was just another goalie that Perry victimized over his career.
300th Career Goal (Nov. 11, 2015)
Okay, this is getting wild. It was a Remembrance Day game against – you guessed it – the Oilers in 2015 when Perry reached the next century mark with his 300th goal. Even crazier is that it was another two-goal performance that locked up the milestone for the Ducks’ veteran.
The goal came just under seven minutes into the third period putting the Ducks up 3-2. Rickard Rakell passed the puck out in front of the net, Perry grabbed it and went to the backhand before putting it up and over Oilers’ netminder, Anders Nilsson.
The Oilers would eventually win in overtime with Nilsson recording an assist on the winning goal, but it wasn’t before he became a footnote in Perry’s decorated career.
Again, we know what he was able to do against the Oilers over his career, but Nilsson managed to keep him off the board more often than not. Perry had two two-goal performances against Nilsson in five games, so while the four goals looks good, Nilsson may have had the secret to stopping Perry.
400th Career Goal (Feb. 23, 2022)
Fittingly, on Feb. 23, 2022, Perry notched his most recent milestone goal against the same Oilers that he has victimized over the years. It was the 400th goal of his career and while it wasn’t Khabibulin, Markkanen, or Nilsson, this milestone goal against the Oilers came against Mike Smith.
Unlike the others, it wasn’t the prettiest of goals either with Pat Maroon getting the puck back to Mikhail Sergachev who shot it off Perry’s body and past Smith. Still, the goal stood and went down as another notch in Perry’s storied career.
The goal made Perry the 104th player in NHL history to reach the 400-goal plateau and while he’s surely not finished, his place in the game’s history is more than secured.
As for his career numbers against Smith, Perry played against the veteran goaltender 34 times during regular season play. Over that span, he tallied eight goals and 20 points. It wasn’t the most success he’s had against one of the named goalies in his little history book, but still not disappointing by any means.
While 500 seems like a stretch at this point in his career, Perry’s within reach of being a top-100 goal scorer in NHL history. This is certainly not the end of the line for the former London Knights forward, as he should put up another handful of goals before the 2021-22 season is up.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.