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Robert Picarello | correspondent
Feb 9, 2007, 9:38 AM EST

Eric Perrin has been a consistent scorer everywhere he's played, except the NHL. But that hasn't stopped Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella from giving Perrin a regular shift -- even though he hasn't scored a goal in 26 games.

"He's done a really good job," Tortorella said on "I think he's helped with our offensive lines as far as on the puck and that's a key, especially with Brad (Richards). He's lost his two wingers (Marty St. Louis and Fredrik Modin) from the past couple of years for most of the year here and we've needed someone to step in to help him have the puck more – because that's Richie's strength of the game. Eric has done that."

Even though Perrin isn't lighting the lamp as often as Tortorella would like, he is still doing other things to help out his club.

"I always use the word anticipation. Let's face it, he plays harder than some of the 6-foot-3, 6-foot-4 guys in this league and that's a true compliment to him and that's why he's playing because he's willing to play in those areas," Tortorella explained. "He's willing to go after pucks. He does good things away from the puck. We scored a goal the other night because of his back pressure coming back through the middle. He ended up creating that offensive chance by his back pressure through the middle -- they turn it over, we get going and we end up scoring a big goal. He's done some really good things and that's why he's getting the ice time he's getting."

The way Perrin competed this past Tuesday in a win at home over the Kings just about sums up his season in a nutshell. In a little over 20 minutes, Perrin finished tied with Vinny Lecavalier for the team lead in shots, but that's about the only thing the score sheet revealed about his play that night. Nowhere on the final sheet was anything about the chances Perrin generated for his teammates or the shot he rang off the crossbar in overtime, which almost won the game for his team.

"Eric Perrin played I thought one of his best games. I thought he was one of our best forwards – four scoring chances – four primary chances. He had four helpers in other scoring chances (and he) was involved in eight of our 19 chances the last game. He needs to score. But he did some good things," Tortorella said.

Tortorella and the Lightning hope it's just a matter of time before good things turn into great things for Perrin. The Bolts come into play Friday in second place in the Southeast, riding an 8-2-0 record in their last 10 games

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