Surging Ducks get key blueline piece back, as Fowler returns tonight

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Winners in 10 of their last 14, the Ducks will get a big boost on defense on Tuesday when they take on the Sharks.

Cam Fowler, who’s been out of the lineup since late December with a sprained knee, missed 13 games with the ailment but watched the club go 9-3-1 in his absence. His return comes just games after another key blueliner, Simon Despres, rejoined the Ducks after missing 42 contests with a concussion.

Fowler, 24, had 12 points in 34 games prior to getting hurt, averaging a healthy 22:38 TOI per night.

Needless to say, he was and is a big part of what Anaheim does on defense — and he lauded his blueline mates for stepping up while he was out.

“I think it’s shows the depth of our team, with the people that we’ve had step in and play really big minutes for us, especially the young guys,” Fowler said, per the L.A. Times. “You can’t really replace having your full six to seven D-corps back together and healthy. That’s something that goes a long way, especially heading down the stretch that we’re in now.”

The only defensive regular out of the mix for Anaheim right now is Clayton Stoner, who’s sidelined with a hip problem.

As such, it looks like the Ducks will roll with a defensive unit comprised of Fowler, Despres, Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen, Kevin Bieksa and Josh Manson tonight against the Sharks. Korbinian Holzer would (presumably) be the No. 7 while Shea Theodore — the ’13 first-round pick that played very well with Fowler and Despres out — looks as though he’ll stay in AHL San Diego.