Mathieu Perreault had a fairy tale night for the Washington Capitals – his first career hat trick against the same Boston Bruins he grew up rooting against.
“Tonight was just a good day for me,” the 24-year-old Quebec native said.
It wasn’t just good, it was because Perreault put himself in the right places to make plays.
On the first goal, Alexander Semin and Perreault enjoyed a nice little odd-man rush. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask overplayed Semin for a shot, so Perreault was able to put it into an empty cage.
“I didn’t even see the goalie. I just try to put it on net.,” Perreault said “I was like, ‘Oh, look what happened. Where is he?’ it was a great play by Sash.”
His second goal was the direct result of a heads-up play in the neutral zone, as Perreault stole the puck away from defenseman Johnny Boychuk and went in on all alone on a breakaway.
“Yeah, I kind of pick-pocket that guy in center ice and just skate right down the middle,” Perreault said. “I didn’t even look, I just threw it on. I knew I was going high blocker and I just throw it in.”
It didn’t hurt that Perreault also made big All-Star captain Zdeno Chara look like a pylon.
“No, that was him, yeah?” Perreault said. “I had some speed there; he kind of stand still and I just go by him.”
He was angry coming out of the penalty box the shift he scored his third goal. He had just been called for high-sticking Chara.
“Yeah, a little bit because I barely touched him,” Perreault said. “He’s like 7-foot tall. I’m 5-8. I was kind of pissed. But I came back, and then I got that bounce right into me and I put it in the net.”
That led to Perreault’s biggest smile of the night.
“That breakaway was one of my nicest goals. But that third one, when you get that hat trick, it’s awesome,” he said. “The crowd gets into it, and the hats are going onto the ice – it’s just awesome.”