Ducks defenseman Simon Despres is on the verge of returning from concussion symptoms that have kept him out since Oct.16.
Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said Monday that Despres will be available when the Ducks play Tuesday at Boston, their final game before the All-Star break this weekend.
Despres joined the team after a four-game conditioning stint with the San Diego Gulls. Boudreau stopped short of saying Despres will play but indicated it’s likely.
“We’ll talk about it in the morning and see how it goes,” Boudreau said. “We’re not going to throw him in for 25 minutes … if he plays we’ll monitor his ice time, but if he’s ready, he’s ready.”
Despres sustained a concussion in his fourth game on a hit by Colorado’s Tyson Barrie, who received a three-game suspension. Despres is one of Anaheim’s better stay-at-home defensemen and, when he arrived from Pittsburgh last season in a trade, formed a solid partnership with Cam Fowler.
Fowler is expected to be available after the All-Star break in his recovery from a sprained knee.
Boudreau said he will continue playing the same lines, given the balance and success they’ve had splitting up Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.
The Ducks will see former teammate Matt Beleskey for the first time since the left wing signed a five-year, $19-million contract with Boston last summer.
He secured that contract with career highs of 22 goals in 65 games and eight goals in 16 playoff games in the last of his seven seasons in Anaheim, often playing with centers Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler.
Beleskey has eight goals in his first 45 games with the Bruins and leads the team in hits.
“I’m happy for him,” Ducks wing Andrew Cogliano said. “I hope the best for him because he’s a good guy and good friend. He’s a guy everyone can use because he’s a good player and he’s hard to play against.”
DUCKS AT BOSTON BRUINS
When: Tuesday, 4 p.m. PST.
On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 830.
Update: The Bruins are completing a rare road-home back-to-back sequence after they played Monday at Philadelphia. Boston ranks among the top five in scoring but is 11-12-2 at home. The Ducks have won three straight in the series, the last, 3-2, on an overtime goal by Getzlaf last March in Boston.