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Perrin ready for bigger things

All the center really wants to do is score.

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO
Published January 14, 2007


BUFFALO, N.Y. - Eric Perrin likes doing the little things that make a difference in a game; forechecking, getting pucks out of the defensive zone, causing turnovers.

But what the center really wants to do is score.

"Yeah, of course I do," Perrin said. "I want to put that pressure on me. I've always scored goals and participated offensively, and that's one thing I want to do for this club, too.

"I know I'm not expected to score 40 goals, but once in a while you have to produce."

Perrin entered Saturday without a goal in 15 games.

To his credit, the rest of his game had not dipped. His forechecking tenacity led to Ryan Craig's goal Thursday against the Capitals and he is a fixture on the penalty kill.

"His anticipation skills," coach John Tortorella said, "are the best on the team."

His line with Craig and left wing Nick Tarnasky has been all-around solid.

But Perrin, with eight goals, has had problems getting shots to the net. He said the remedy is to keep shooting while not losing the bigger picture.

"You keep working hard and it's going to come. I try to stay true to that," he said. "I have to make sure I play well away from the puck and do the little details as far as playing good defense. Eventually the goals will come."

AFFY SPEAKS: Dmitry Afanasenkov admitted he blew it.

The left wing began the season on a line with center Brad Richards and Marty St. Louis, but on Dec. 30 was claimed by the Flyers off waivers.

"Yes," he said by phone. "I am very disappointed in myself."

Afanasenkov, 26, drafted 72nd overall by the Lightning in 1998 and a third-line player most of his career, said he hoped for a shot at playing on a top line. But once he got it, "There was too much thinking. I had been waiting for this. I didn't just relax and play."

Afanasenkov had three goals and six points in 33 games for Tampa Bay. In eight for the Flyers he has zero and is minus-5.

"Everything changes so fast," he said. "I had a good training camp and then it was gone."

500 FOR SARICH: Defenseman Cory Sarich played his 500th NHL game against the team with which he started his career.

"Just another pregame nap," he said. "Just another pregame meal."

ODDS AND ENDS: Defenseman Luke Richardson was a healthy scratch.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at cristodero@sptimes.com or 727 893-8622.