Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mathieu Perreault May Be Winnipeg Jets' Lucky Charm at Heritage Classic

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Mathieu Perreault May Be Winnipeg Jets' Lucky Charm at Heritage Classic

Article excerpt

Perreault may be key to win at Heritage Classic

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WINNIPEG - Mathieu Perreault may be the lucky charm for the Winnipeg Jets in Sunday's Heritage Classic.

The veteran forward will play in his third outdoor NHL game, with two victories notched on his belt as the Jets take on the visiting Edmonton Oilers in the regular-season game.

"If I can go three-for-three, then I'll think that for sure," Perreault said after the Jets practised Saturday at the 33,000-seat Investors Group Field before Saturday afternoon's alumni game.

"I've only been on the winning end of it and it's just been awesome both times. It feels different than just a normal game."

The big space of the usual football stadium makes the rink kind of feel smaller, especially with the stands far away, he explained.

"But honestly, once the game starts and you're actually playing hockey, you kind of lose focus of what's going on outside," Perreault said.

The 28-year-old was with the Anaheim Ducks when they blanked the Los Angeles Kings 3-0 in the 2014 Stadium Series at Dodger Stadium. In 2011, his Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 in the Winter Classic at Heinz Field.

New Oilers 10-year veteran Milan Lucic is feeling lucky to finally be playing in one of the league's showcase games.

Lucic was injured when his former Boston Bruins clipped the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime in the 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway Park. To make matters worse, there was no seat for him in the park so he watched the game from the dressing room with fellow injured teammate, and now Jets defenceman, Mark Stuart.

Lucic was then traded in June 2015 to Los Angeles, missing Boston's 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 1, 2016 in the Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium.

"Hopefully, this experience makes up for missing both of those," he said.

The Vancouver native has never played hockey outside.

"Growing up in Vancouver, we had more puddles than we did anything else," Lucic said with a smile. …

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