SPORTS

Jets' Mathieu Perreault returns from injury to play in Game 2 vs. Ducks

04/18/2015 04:55 EDT | Updated 07/06/2015 11:59 EDT
ANAHEIM, Calif. - With the playoffs underway, the pressure was on for Mathieu Perreault to get back into the Winnipeg Jets' lineup.

"I feel like I can help this team in different parts of the games," said Perreault, who missed Winnipeg's opening game against Anaheim with a lower-body injury. "I want to be able to help the team win, so that's why we're working on trying to get me back as soon as possible."

As soon as possible was Saturday night when the Jets faced Anaheim in the second game of the series. Perreault started on Winnipeg's third line alongside Adam Lowry and Lee Stempniak, pushing Jiri Tlusty down the lineup and Matt Halischuk out.

Earlier Saturday, coach Paul Maurice said Perreault would not be in the lineup just as a power-play specialist. The physicality of games against the Ducks makes Maurice reluctant to go with 11 full-time forwards if Perreault isn't 100 per cent.

"I would not put a player in the lineup only for the power play, knowing the way the game is going to be played," Maurice said. "Both teams will need to run four lines on a pretty regular basis to keep the pace that this series has been at."

Perreault scored five power-play goals among his 18 during the regular season. He missed 16 games late in the regular season with this same injury and acknowledged there's a risk in playing.

"When you have an injury there's always a chance you get out there and you re-aggravate it," he said. "You don't want that. We're trying to be careful with it, but at the same time, it's playoffs, so we'll try to do everything we can to get me back in there."

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