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Jets forward Perreault game-time decision at Ducks

by Curtis Zupke / NHL.com

ANAHEIM -- Winnipeg Jets forward Mathieu Perreault (lower body) is a game-time decision for Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round Series against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday at Honda Center (10:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, TVA, SN, PRIME).

Perreault skated Thursday morning but did not take part in line rushes and was not made available to the media.

"We'll see how he comes back tonight and make a decision then," Jets coach Paul Maurice said.

Perreault provided scoring and skill when he was with Anaheim, and that's something the Jets could use if and when Perreault plays in the best-of-7 series.

"He's a big part of this team," center Jim Slater said. "He's put up some big numbers for us at key times in the season. He's great on the power [play]. He's great on the wing, whatever line he plays with.

"We'd love to get him back, if it's tonight. If it's not, at some point."

If Perreault doesn't play, right wing Matt Halischuk is expected to take his place after he was scratched in five of the past six regular-season games.

"It's what everybody wants to play for. It's the 83rd game," Halischuk said. "Whether I'm in or out, I'm just excited to be part of this group and to move forward with this group.

"It's always exciting when you're out and you know you put the work in to get back in."

Thursday will be the first Stanley Cup Playoffs game for the Jets franchise since 2007. Although players have playoff experience elsewhere, it's still a special feeling.

"It's going to be tough to get a nap in today," center Bryan Little said. "But once tonight comes and once you're a couple of shifts in, I'm sure everything will get settled down and you'll find a groove. It's exciting right now, and I'm sure guys are going to be pretty pumped up and it's going to be some nerves before the game tonight."

Said goalie Ondrej Pavelec on Wednesday, "When players say they're not nervous, I don't believe them. I think it's a good thing to be nervous, to be honest."

Here are the projected lineups:

JETS

Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Michael Frolik

Drew Stafford - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler

Jiri Tlusty - Adam Lowry - Lee Stempniak

Chris Thorburn - Jim Slater - Matt Halischuk

Ben Chiarot - Dustin Byfuglien

Toby Enstrom - Tyler Myers

Mark Stuart - Jacob Trouba

Ondrej Pavelec

Michael Hutchinson

Injured: Mathieu Perreault (lower body), Grant Clitsome (upper body), Paul Postma (lower body)

Scratched: Jay Harrison, Adam Pardy, Eric O' Dell, Keaton Ellerby, Anthony Peluso, T.J. Galiardi, Andrew Copp

DUCKS

Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Matt Beleskey - Ryan Kesler - Kyle Palmieri

Andrew Cogliano - Rickard Rakell - Jakob Silfverberg

Emerson Etem - Chris Wagner - Tim Jackman

Hampus Lindholm - Francois Beauchemin

Cam Fowler - Simon Despres

Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen

Frederik Andersen

Jason LaBarbera

Injured: Nate Thompson (upper body), John Gibson (upper body)

Scratched: James Wisniewski, Korbinian Holzer, Jiri Sekac, Tomas Fleischmann

Status report: Ladd did not skate and Maurice said it was a maintenance day … Tlusty was on the third line and Maurice said he's the kind of player who could thrive in a playoff situation. "Well he's pretty excited about this," Maurice said "That's true of all the guys that haven't played much playoff hockey. He's capable. We've seen that in the long run. He's got the hand skills to do it."

Who's hot: Pavelec ended his regular season with three straight regulation shutouts. Stafford had two goals in his final four regular-season games. Stempniak had a goal and an assist in the regular-season finale.

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