Corey Perry is happy with his decision to stay with the Ducks

Corey Perry is happy with his decision to stay with the Ducks
Ducks forward Corey Perry celebrates a goal against the Nashville Predators with his teammates during the third period of a game Jan. 4 at Honda Center. (Harry How / Getty Images)

The idea of returning near his Canadian home to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs tugged on Corey Perry's heart two years ago.

All things considered, including the Maple Leafs' firing of coach Randy Carlyle earlier this month, Perry is entirely pleased with his decision to remain with the Ducks.

"There's all kinds of stuff that went into it," Perry said of his March 2013 choice to sign an eight-year contract extension with the Ducks for $69 million. "It would've been nice to go home and play in front of family and friends every night, but on the other side of things, you have to think about your life and how you want to live it."

Perry's family home, in London, Ontario, is about a two-hour drive from Toronto.


"This," he said of Orange County, "is the place where I wanted to stay, to live."

Perry, 29, is in the second season of his contract. He scored a team-best 43 goals last season and was off to a torrid start in this one — 11 goals in 13 games — before getting derailed by mumps and a sprained knee. But despite the Ducks' many personnel setbacks this season, they never lost their grip on first place in the Pacific Division.

"Everything's going in the right direction with this organization," Perry said. "There's a lot of depth here and it definitely weighed in on what was going on."

Message received

Matt Beleskey's usual spot on the Ducks' second line, next to center Ryan Kesler and right wing Jakob Silfverberg, was occupied by Rene Bourque during Monday and Tuesday practices.

Beleskey, with a team-best 17 goals, has been moved to the checking fourth line alongside center Nate Thompson and forward Tim Jackman. With just one shot attempted in the past two games, Beleskey said he knows what's going on.

"When I'm playing well, [Ducks Coach] Bruce [Boudreau] plays you," Beleskey said. "He doesn't think I'm playing my best, [so] I'm not going to play as much. You roll with it."

Line changes, Boudreau said, are often based on "how you're playing. If you're not playing up to snuff, you get moved down the ladder."

Tough matchup

Anaheim set an NHL record Sunday with its 11th consecutive home victory coming by a one-goal margin.

Given Toronto's upheaval, this might look like the spot for the Ducks to win a game by more, but the Maple Leafs have outscored the Ducks by a combined 13-5 in three consecutive victories during the past two seasons.

"They're a quick-strike team, very good off the rush," Boudreau said. "You give 'em one good opportunity, they put it in. We've got to show ourselves better."


When: 7.

On the air: TV: Channel 13; Radio: 830.

Etc.: Boudreau said Ducks defenseman Eric Brewer (broken foot) has returned to skating this week after being injured on Dec. 1, but does not have a timetable for his return to game action. Former Ducks forward Daniel Winnik has 14 assists and is plus-15 for Toronto.

Follow Lance Pugmire on Twitter @latimespugmire