In an effort to generate more offense — and to accommodate his growing list of injured players — Bowness juggled his lines before Game 4 on Friday night. Playing with Seguin and Joel Kiviranta, Perry scored his first goal in 19 games in Friday’s 5-4 overtime loss before adding two on Saturday.
Bowness has admired Perry’s tenacity for years, even from opposing benches.
“From the top of the circles down, in the offensive zone — his poise, his confidence, his strength and his reach with the puck, it’s always been very impressive,” he said of Perry.
Throughout the playoffs, the Stars have been weathering injury issues. Most notably, Anton Khudobin capably stepped into the net when Ben Bishop was deemed unfit to play, and the unheralded rookie Kiviranta helped the Stars advance to the Western Conference Final with his hat-trick performance in Game 7 against the Colorado Avalanche, when the durable Andrew Cogliano was sidelined.
In later rounds, Radek Faksa was injured midway through the Western Final; he has now missed seven games. Three games ago, another important two-way forward, Blake Comeau, was knocked out of action. And in Game 4 on Friday, Roope Hintz left the game and did not return.
Jason Dickinson also missed some time in the first period of Game 4 after blocking a shot. He left the ice early during warm-up on Saturday, but stayed in the lineup and finished with 23:14 of ice time. Defenseman Andrej Sekera also left the game midway through the first period after blocking a shot from Sergachev. He returned for the third period and overtime, finishing the night with 13:38 of ice time.
“Give him a lot of credit,” Bowness said. “He took a shot and he was in a lot of pain. It took a while to subside. That shows you his compete, his love of the team and his teammates.”