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This article was published 9/2/2015 (2423 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Mathieu Perreault is an admittedly superstitious sort. So this will not be lost on the Winnipeg Jets forward: the team is 1-0 since he shaved off a beard so hearty he could have doubled as a Festival du Voyageur mascot.
"I feel faster... a few pounds off my face," said Perreault after Sunday's 5-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche. "As a team we had lost five or six in a row and it was time for a change for me. Hey, it paid off tonight."
Perreault and his linemates -- centre Mark Scheifele and reluctant right-winger Dustin Byfuglien -- were clearly the best trio on the ice Sunday. They combined for two goals and eight points in a critical effort for a club looking for production from a unit outside of Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler.
"I thought they were really indicative of the team game," said Paul Maurice. "I thought they were quiet in the first and then that line kind of got us going with some good forecheck and puck movement.
"They have the elements to be very, very good. (Byfuglien) is a real, big strong man who can handle the puck. Mark has got great speed and there were a number of really fine plays by Mathieu... he handles the puck and moves the puck and sees things differently. When they're going like they were after the first, there's a lot to handle there."
Perreault and Scheifele have had a good chemistry for much of the season. And it has taken them a while over the past three games to figure out how to work with the force that is Byfuglien.
The game plan, it turns out, is not complicated.
"With Buff coming back to forward it takes a little time to adjust," said Perreault. "Sometimes he's tough to read off of. Me and Scheifs are just trying to put the puck in his corner and let him work. We did that tonight and had some success with that. Hopefully we can build on that and get even better.
"On the forecheck, you just dump it in his corner and their D knows he's coming. I'd be scared myself if I had to go back and get the puck. They have a tendency to throw it away just because they don't want to get hit, and so me and Scheifs can read off that and pick up those thrown-away pucks.
"Getting offensive production from our line is huge," he added. "I like to put pressure on myself and I feel like if my line plays well our team has a much better chance of winning than when we don't."
Perreault's goal against the Avs was his 18th of the season, tying his career high set last season with the Anaheim Ducks. He has been a spectacular addition for the Jets with his ability to play both centre and wing and his work in the face-off circle.
"It's been a fun year for me," said Perreault. "A slow start for me (he didn't score in his first 19 games) but I felt I was playing well even though I couldn't score. Now they're going in and the team's winning and I'm enjoying myself a lot."
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