Centre Adam Lowry will make his return to the Winnipeg Jets lineup tonight after missing 20 games with an upper-body injury.

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Centre Adam Lowry will make his return to the Winnipeg Jets lineup tonight after missing 20 games with an upper-body injury.

Lowry will centre the club's third line with wingers Andrew Copp and Jack Roslovic when the Jets host the Arizona Coyotes in a game crucial to the NHL's Western Conference playoff race.

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES</p><p>Winnipeg Jets centre Adam Lowry is finished with the yellow jersey.</p></p>

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES

Winnipeg Jets centre Adam Lowry is finished with the yellow jersey.

The Jets enter tonight's action in a tie for the conference's second wild-card playoff spot with the Vancouver Canucks and Nashville Predators at 76 points. Arizona is two points back.

"He's excited to get back and he changes the way we look, right?" said Maurice. "The size of him. He's big at both ends of the ice. That line has played together before and had strong games together."

Maurice is pleased to add Lowry to the penalty-killing mix but also had to make the difficult decision to subtract rookie Jansen Harkins from the lineup. Harkins has two goals and seven points in 29 NHL games this season and has performed admirably since being recalled from the AHL's Manitoba Moose.

"Where Jansen at right now is he's become for me an NHL player," said Maurice. "He's in that mix."

Mathieu Perreault, who returned after a lengthy absence due to injury and scored a goal in Friday's 4-0 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Perreault will remain on the fourth line in a combo with centre Nick Shore and right-winger Mason Appelton.

Lowry was asked how quickly he might feel like he's operating at top speed.

"Hopefully it kinda goes like Frenchie's return," said Lowry of Perreault's immediate impact. "Your timing might be off a little bit for faceoffs and things like that but our coaching staff and our training staff has done a good job in preparing me a much as they can in practice... Hopefully it's just a couple of shifts and then feel as close to normal as you can."

Connor Hellebuyck is expected to get the start in net for Winnipeg.

mike.sawatzky@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @sawa14

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Reporter

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.