At the Rink: Ducks at Bruins

Tuesday, 01.26.2016 / 1:41 PM | Matt Kalman  - Correspondent

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins forward Matt Beleskey will face his former team for the first time when the Bruins play the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday at TD Garden (7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SNO, SNW, FS-W, NESN).

Beleskey spent his first seven NHL seasons with the Ducks, and had an NHL career-best 22 goals last season. He was one of the most coveted unrestricted free agents last summer and signed a five-year, $19 million contract with the Bruins (26-17-5) on July 1.

"It's going to be fun," Beleskey said. "Definitely one I had circled on the calendar. But this is a big two points for us heading into the [All-Star] break and we'll be ready to get those."

The Bruins have won five of their past six games (5-1-0), including a 3-2 win at the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. Beleskey has eight goals in 46 games for the Bruins, but his contribution is measured in more than points.

"You know we’ve got some skill players but we also need some players that are going to get their noses dirty and be physical," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "And when he's at his best that's exactly what he is. He's not afraid to go to the net, he's not afraid to finish his checks. He's gritty, gets his nose dirty and it's been a good blend for our hockey club."

The Ducks (21-18-7) have won four of their past five games (4-1-0). They will welcome back defenseman Simon Despres to the lineup after he missed 42 games because of concussion symptoms. Before he was injured Despres averaged 17:06 of ice time in four games.

"First of all, to have him back, when he's at his best, he was very solid for us," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "A big (6-foot-4, 218-pounds), strong-bodied guy, can play lots of minutes. What I'm expecting from him today is just a simple game and get his feet wet and do the right things and not try to overdo things on his first night. And if we get that we'll be very happy."

The NHL announced Ducks forward Shawn Horcoff has been suspended for 20 games without pay for violating the terms of the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program.

Following the League's announcement, Ducks general manager Bob Murray said: "This morning we were made aware of the situation regarding Shawn Horcoff. The Anaheim Ducks organization fully supports the NHL/NHLPA Performance Enhancing Substances Program. We will also continue to support Shawn as a player and person throughout this process. We will have no further comment at this time."

Here are the projected lineups:


Patrick Maroon - Ryan Getzlaf - Chris Stewart

David Perron - Rickard Rakell - Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg

Ryan Garbutt - Nate Thompson - Mike Santorelli

Hampus Lindholm - Josh Manson

Sami Vatanen - Simon Despres

Shea Theodore - Kevin Bieksa

Frederik Anderson

John Gibson

Injured: Cam Fowler (sprained knee), Clayton Stoner (hip flexor)

Scratched: Adam Clendening, Korbinian Holzer

Suspended: Shawn Horcoff


Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Brett Connolly

Ryan Spooner - David Krejci - Loui Eriksson

Matt Beleskey - Joonas Kemppainen - David Pastrnak

Zac Rinaldo - Max Talbot - Jimmy Hayes

Zdeno Chara - Zach Trotman

Dennis Seidenberg - Colin Miller

Torey Krug - Kevan Miller

Jonas Gustavsson

Tuukka Rask

Injured: Chris Kelly (broken femur), Adam McQuaid (upper body)

Scratched: Joe Morrow, Landon Ferraro, Tyler Randell

Status report: Fowler, who has missed the past 12 games, has been practicing but won't return until after the All-Star break. ... Julien said McQuaid, who has been out 10 games, has not resumed skating.

Who's hot: Perry has five goals and one assist in his past seven games. ... Marchand is on an NHL career-best five-game goal streak. He also has points in six straight games; he has five goals and one assist in that span.

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