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Jets center Perreault motivated to defeat former team

by Arpon Basu /

WINNIPEG – If there is one player in the Winnipeg Jets dressing room who knows their Western Conference First Round series against the Anaheim Ducks is far from over despite being down 2-0, it would be center Mathieu Perreault.

There also probably isn't another player as motivated as Perreault to win Game 3 on Monday (9 p.m. ET; NHLN-US, NBCSN [JIP], SN, TVA Sports, PRIME).

"Despite the fact we're down 2-0 in the series, it doesn't change a thing for us," Perreault said in French on Monday. "Last year, for example, I was in Anaheim and we won the first two games in Anaheim, we went to Dallas and lost both games there and came back to Anaheim tied 2-2. So we have to do the same thing the Stars did.

"We're a good team at home, and we have to win this game."

The Ducks went on to win that first-round series against the Dallas Stars in six games before losing to the Los Angeles Kings in seven games in the second round. The difficulties the Ducks had in that series was cited by general manager Bob Murray as one of the reasons he underwent such a significant roster makeover prior to the NHL Trade Deadline this season.

The memory of that series, however, has not been brought up by the Ducks in light of them facing the exact same situation after two games.

"I don't want to talk about that," Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin said Monday. "We didn't talk about it today. Last year was last year. We're a new team, a different team. We're better. But we want to learn from that. We're up 2-0, we're feeling good about the way we're playing, but we want to be playing better the next game."

One of the differences on the Ducks is the absence of Perreault.

Perreault played one season in Anaheim, reuniting with coach Bruce Boudreau from their time together with the Washington Capitals. When the Stanley Cup Playoffs matchups were settled, Perreault admits he wasn't very excited to see the Jets' opponent.

"Fun? I wouldn't say that," he said. "Unfortunately, I have a lot of good friends on the other team and now I have to play against them. If I had a choice, I probably would have chosen to play against another team. But once the game starts, you put all that aside."

When asked whether or not he considers Boudreau to be part of that group of friends, a coach who always believed in him in Washington and Anaheim, Perreault said yes, but only to a degree.

"I liked my time in Anaheim, but they still let me leave last year," he said. "They didn't want to re-sign me. So there's a pride factor there. You kind of want to throw that back in their face."

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