CALGARY, Alberta - In his home in Ontario, Corey Perry has space for all of his trophies, the physical manifestations of his impressive hockey resume. He'll soon add another piece to the display.
During Wednesday night's 3-1 Stars win in Calgary, Perry played his 1,000th career NHL game, a milestone commemorated with a silver stick presented by the player's team. He became the 340th player in league history to reach the mark.
"It's my life," Perry said. "It's what I've wanted to do since I was a kid. To have that opportunity to play 1,000 games in the best league in the world, I couldn't ask for anything better. I'm going to soak it all in and cherish it and really remember it down the road."
Perry didn't score on Wednesday night, when Joe Pavelski and Justin Dowling supplied the scoring for the Stars. Pavelski scored twice, first on a second-period power play by jamming home his own rebound after a nice feed from Denis Gurianov. He added an empty-net goal with 1:33 left in the third period.
Dowling's goal in the third period was the first of his career and came in his hometown of Calgary. While leading a 2 on 1, Dowling waited out Flames goalie Cam Talbot, dragged the puck past him and stuffed a goal.
Stars goaltender Ben Bishop made 24 saves, the lone blemish a power-play goal by Sean Monahan in the third period.
For the first time this season, Dallas (9-8-2) is above .500 and is now 8-1-1 in its last 10 games after a 1-7-1 start.
Perry is in his first season with the Stars after spending the first 14 years of his career in Anaheim, where he compiled arguably the most complete hockey resume in the history of the sport.
Perry, 34, has won a Stanley Cup, an Olympic gold medal, a World Cup goal medal, a World Championships gold medal, a World Juniors goal medal, an OHL title, a Memorial Cup title, a Rocket Richard Trophy and a Hart Trophy.
"He's a hockey player, I think that's the best compliment you can give anybody," Stars coach Jim Montgomery said. "He knows the game within the game. He notices changes. He helps us as coaches notice teams have changed up lines. He understands how to get under other people's skin. So even if he's not scoring, he's still helping your team gain momentum within the game."
Perry started Wednesday's game in Calgary, where his parents Jeff and Nancy were in attendance after flying in from Peterborough, Ontario. The Flames recognized Perry for the accomplishment during a TV timeout in the first period.
Throughout his career, Perry has played different roles all wrapped into a 6 foot 3, 205-pound package. He's been the prolific goal scorer that led the league with 50 goals in 2010-11. He's been the league MVP who flirted with a 100-point season. He's been the pesky net-front presence that registered triple-digit penalty minutes in five straight seasons.
"It's not easy every single night, but you find ways to push yourself, keep you motivated and try to stay young," Perry said. "That's the biggest thing. You just try to have fun with it every night and see where it takes you from there."
Stars forward Andrew Cogliano got an up close view of Perry through the years, as teammates in Anaheim for eight seasons.
"I think he's had that in him since he was drafted really, and since he played juniors," Cogliano said. "He's done a good job of it. He's played that role for a long time in this league and it's pretty impressive because it's a tough role to play sometimes."
Perry entered Wednesday night ninth in goals (374) and 16th in points (780) among active players in the NHL. The Stars will honor Perry during their upcoming four-game homestand in Dallas.
"I don't really know if I've actually had time to sit back and reflect on what's really gone on over the last 15 years," Perry said. "Probably do that someday down the road. But just having fun every single day, coming to the rink with a smile on your face. Ups and downs, whatever it may be, you just keep coming and keep putting time and work in."
On Wednesday morning, in the wake of critical remarks made Sunday by Montgomery, the Stars coach was asked if Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin are players who need a motivational push.
"No, they're true pros," Montgomery said. "The best predictor of the future is the past. We fully expect them to start scoring at the level that they always have, and so do they."