The Washington Times - November 21, 2011, 08:29PM

Mathieu Perreault was back in the Washington Capitals lineup on Monday night, his first game since Nov. 12. He replaced Alexander Semin.

The 23-year-old hadn’t played six of the previous eight games. He spoke earlier in the day about how hard it is to get into a rhythm when it that situation.


It’s tough. Because when you’re playing more, you get more confidence and you can do more things,” Perreault said on a one-on-one interview after Monday’s morning skate. “When you don’t play that much and then you get back in the lineup, you want to keep things simple and try not to make too much mistakes – which is not really my game.”

Perreault played 12:06 Nov. 1 against the Ducks, was a healthy scratch at Carolina on Nov. 4 and played 9:47 the next night at the New York Islanders. After getting scratched the next two games, he played 5:16 in the Caps’ shootout loss to the Devils on Nov. 12.

Asked what he wanted to see out of Perreault upon his return to the lineup, coach Bruce Boudreau was straight-forward.

Consistency. That’s been the been thing,” he said. “He’s been really good early and then he tapers off. He’s had a couple games off, and he had a really great practice [Sunday], so I’m assuming he’s going to bring a lot of energy to the game.”

Perreault said he has had conversations with assistant coaches Bob Woods and Dean Evason, and they’ve told him “to keep a positive attitude and keep working hard and I’ll get back in the lineup,” the center recalled.

They don’t really tell me what I do really wrong or anything. It’s just there’s so many good players here and they have to sit guys,” Perreault said. “It’s my first full year in the NHL, so it’s expected. I just have to find a way to deal with that.”

Dealing with time off, Perreault said he basically worked on conditioning to be ready for the call.

Just try to keep your shape. Just try to stay in good physical condition,” he said. “Working hard, try to bag myself out there a little bit so I keep my legs and my energy going. And just waiting for the next time I get on the ice.”

That came Monday night, and even included Perreault seeing time on the power play. Perreault played 6:51 and drew a penalty on the Coyotes.

Asked about whether the Caps’ 4-3 win made the decision on whom to scratch Wednesday harder, Boudreau wasn’t entirely sure. 

“I don’t know. Every day, it’s tough,” he said. “There’s not a lot of easy decisions right now.”