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NHL - US Sports: Perry relishing Lightning opportunity

After losing out in the Stanley Cup Final to the Tampa Bay Lightning in each of the past two seasons, veteran Corey Perry says he is excited to be on their side as they attempt to three-peat.

The Lighting are 6/1 to win the championship for a third time in a row, which would be a second time for 36-year-old Perry who lifted the cup first with the Anaheim Ducks in 2006/07.

Perry's Dallas Stars lost to Tampa Bay over six games in 2020 before he moved to the Montreal Canadiens, who suffered a five-game defeat in last season's final.

Smooth Lightning transition

After signing a two-year deal in the off-season, Perry has slotted in well with Tampa's bottom-six forwards, playing alongside Pat Maroon and centre Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.

In 54 games, Perry has scored 29 points (15 goals, 14 assists) which is his best tally since the 2017/18 season with Anaheim.

Maroon has scored 20 points (nine goals, 11 assists) and Bellemare 16 (seven goals, nine assists), each in 52 games this season.

Perry, Maroon and Bellemare's chemistry together has eased Tampa's loss of Blake Coleman, Yanni Gourde and Barclay Goodrow, who comprised the Lightning's third line the previous two seasons before each moved on in the recent off-season.

Tampa Bay (36-12-6) currently lead the Atlantic Division.

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Perry reflected to the media: "Tough two years. Second place. But this is a heck of a hockey team and it finds ways to win. When I got the call saying they offered me a contract, I jumped right away at it."

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