It's Corey Perry's world, and the rest of us are just living in it.
The Anaheim Ducks forward continued his torrent scoring streak on the rest of the NHL, as he scored a hat trick (with an assist) in last night's must-win game against the division rival San Jose Sharks. With the win, the Ducks keep pace in the Western Conference and remain tied for seventh.
In case you hadn't noticed, Perry has catapulted himself into a frontrunner role for the Hart MVP Trophy this year. He has 50 goals and 47 assists on the season -- both shattering his previous career highs -- and has scored 25 goals and 21 assists since February. His numbers have shot the Ducks from afterthought in the Pacific Division into legitimate playoff contender.
Perry wasn't alone, as Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla had a night to remember as well. His hat trick against the Edmonton Oilers gave the Flames an easy victory and gave Iginla 42 goals for the season. Unfortunately for Iginla, his Flames are simply running out of games. They trail the last playoff position by two points, and only have one game remaining. The best they can hope for? That Anaheim, the Chicago Blackhawks, and Dallas Stars all lose the remainder of their games. Unlikely, but at least there is still hope in Alberta.
Out east, the Carolina Hurricanes kept pace with an easy 3-0 victory over the Detroit Red Wings, but they still trail the New York Rangers for the final playoff berth. Since the Rangers hold the tiebreaker, Carolina has to hope that New York loses their final two games in regulation.
The Washington Capitals essentially sewed up the top overall seed in the East with a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers. The slumping Philadelphia Flyers no longer control home ice, and may lose the second seed to the Boston Bruins this final weekend.
Games To Watch Tonight:
Colorado Avalanche at Dallas Stars: This is the first game of a home and home for these two teams. If the Dallas Stars can take advantage of a weary Avalanche squad, they may have the inside track at the final playoff berth. They have a chance at making history; not only knocking out the defending Stanley Cup champs but by entering every member of the Pacific Division as a playoff team. Unknown territory.
Atlanta Thrashers at New York Rangers: The Rangers win, and they are in. Playing in front of the home crowd, and against a Thrashers team that's run out of steam in the second half of the season, there's no excuse for them not to clinch tonight.