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Lowry returns to practice as Jets prepare for home opener

24-year-old skates with Armia and Tanev at today's skate

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton / WinnipegJets.com

WINNIPEG - Adam Lowry was back on the ice with his teammates on Monday for the first time since leaving a 5-2 preseason win over the Calgary Flames one week ago.

The 24-year-old centre says he's feeling better now, and was thankful his lower-body injury happened in the preseason.

"It was nice to get back out there in practice with the guys," said Lowry. "I'm looking forward to getting back out there. I think we're all excited for the regular season to begin. We have high expectations for our group, and we're excited to get things underway."

Video: PRACTICE | Adam Lowry

Lowry was a regular participant in line rushes between Joel Armia and Brandon Tanev. The pair of Lowry and Armia have been a constant dating back to last season, and head coach Paul Maurice says he expects Tanev to bring speed to the trio.

"He gets in on the puck real well," Maurice said of Tanev. "Adam and Joel do some other things very well, but having a little bit of speed with them works."

With two days to go until the home opener against Toronto, the full Jets line rushes looked like this:

Perreault-Scheifele-Wheeler

Ehlers-Little-Laine

Tanev-Lowry-Armia

Dano-Matthias-Petan

Connor

Morrissey-Trouba

Enstrom-Byfuglien

Kulikov-Myers

Chiarot-Poolman

Video: PRACTICE | Bryan Little

Earlier in the preseason, Maurice singled out Nikolaj Ehlers for his improvement on 'stops and starts' in the defensive zone. He said the 21-year-old's strides in that department made the line with Little and Laine possible.

"Bryan is a very quick player. But because Nik has come in and stopped and started, and done all the things defensively, I don't have to worry about the two of them," said Maurice. "Last year it was a lot for whoever played centre ice with (Laine and Ehlers), they had to cover off a lot of ice. With Nik's game, I don't think that puts undue burden on Bryan, and now there's that speed that line does need."

Little, who has played with the young duo before, says the added experience both Laine and Ehlers have in the defensive zone benefits him as a centre.

Video: PRACTICE | Patrik Laine

"A year's experience in the league is huge, especially when you're that young. I've went through that. It took me a few years to really get comfortable," said Little. "These guys are really mature for their age. Even playing with them in exhibition, I felt like they turned it up a notch and improved more on the defensive game than last year.

"I expect them to take another step forward this year and use that experience from last year."

Video: PRACTICE | Blake Wheeler

ICE CHIPS

Andrew Copp (lower-body) and Matt Hendricks (lower-body) didn't take part in Monday's practice at Bell MTS Place. Maurice said the veteran Hendricks will start the season on injured reserve, but listed him as day-to-day. As for Copp, Maurice said the team will have a better idea of his status tomorrow.

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