Stars defenseman John Klingberg will return to the lineup Thursday after missing the past three games with an upper-body injury.
“Klingberg is good to go,” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff.
Klingberg has been out since taking a hit from Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo in last week’s game in Philadelphia. Klingberg has practiced the past two days and said he is ready to go.
“It feels good. I feel fresh,” Klingberg said. “It’s going to be nice to get back in tomorrow. I am excited.”
The last two games have been tough ones on the injury front for the 22-year-old. There was the upper-body injury in the Philadelphia game. In his previous game, he suffered a lower-body injury after a hit by Tampa Bay forward Ryan Callahan. He sat out the last half of the game with that injury. But Klingberg’s battled through injuries before, including a couple hip surgeries.
“I would think it’s pretty hard if I didn’t have any injuries before but I have been through some tough times with my hips,” Klingberg said. “That’s something that is going to come sometime in your career; you are going to miss some games because of injury. I am not mad or sad about that. Just have a nice recovery and get back in there as soon as you can.”
Stars defenseman Alex Goligoski did not practice Wednesday, but he is expected to play Thursday against Pittsburgh.
“[He is] sick but he’ll be alright for tomorrow,” Ruff said. “We decided to just leave him at home.”
Travis Moen (upper body) and Valeri Nichushkin (hip) both practiced Wednesday, but neither is ready to return to the lineup.
Outside of Klingberg returning, Ruff said he doesn’t expect many changes to the Dallas lineup for Thursday’s game. The Stars have been playing well lately, winning five of their last seven games. And even though they are coming off a 3-0 loss to the St. Louis on Sunday, the Stars coach liked how his team played in that one as well.
“We’ve played too good for me to say we are going to change things now. For me, why would I change?” Ruff said. “We could have won [Sunday’s game against St. Louis]. We played well enough to win. We just didn’t execute. I am not going to blow things up after what I see was some lack of execution.”
The Stars have 12 games remaining, and they’ll enter Thursday eight points out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
“There is still a shot. It’s a hard shot, but we are going to try to make it,” Klingberg said. “It’s going to be tough, but we are going to have to take it game by game, period by period. Just try to play the best hockey we can at the end of the year. We put ourselves in this situation, and we are going to try to solve it.”
Stars prospects to play in Traverse City tournament again in 2015
Dallas Stars prospects will play at the NHL Prospect Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan again in 2015. The Detroit Red Wings, who host the tournament, announced some details about this year’s tournament and which NHL teams will be sending prospects.
The tournament will be held Sept. 11-15 and besides Dallas and Detroit, prospects from the Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues also will take part.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.