Corey Perry finally cashes in, a Zach Bogosian boost and the ‘kid line’ thrives – [Update News]

TAMPA, Fla. — As Corey Perry raced to the bench following his second-period goal Tuesday night, he reached back over his shoulder and grabbed the metaphorical monkey off his back and tossed it several rows up into the stands.

The smile came, and there was a cheering crowd of teammates waiting for him. It seemed like buddy Pat Maroon didn’t want to let him go from a celebratory bear hug in the corner.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Perry said after the Lightning’s 4-0 victory over the Flyers at Amalie Arena.

Perry was without a goal for 17 of the 17 first games of the season, his longest drought season-opening drought in 17 years. The next-highest was 12 games in 2015-16. It was the fact that the 36-year-old winger never expressed his frustrations around others that most struck colleagues. He’d joke around and laugh with the group. He’d speak up when something needed to be said, a reason why Perry was given a letter “A” on his sweater just a few games into his tenure in Tampa.

Perry is a goal scorer, having scored 386 goals in his career. He was also a Hart Trophy winner and a veteran who won almost everything in his career from an Olympic gold medal to the Stanley Cup. He takes great pride in producing, particularly at a time when Brayden Point is out for up to six weeks, upper-body.