Dallas Stars digital manager Kyle Shohara reports from team practice that defenseman John Klingberg and center Radek Faksa took the ice today after missing time with an upper-body injury and non-COVID-related illness, respectively. Klingberg missed the team’s last game, a 5-1 win against the New Jersey Devils, while Faksa missed that game and the night prior against the Philadelphia Flyers. Both would be huge returns to the Stars lineup, especially Klingberg. With the Swedish defenseman reportedly requesting a trade out of Dallas, every game (and every good play) matters for Dallas to recoup as much value as possible if a trade occurs.
A busy night in the NHL yields more injury news:
- The Anaheim Ducks get two key contributors back tonight versus Montreal, activating center Adam Henrique from injured reserve and defenseman Josh Manson from COVID-19 protocol. Both return to prominent roles in the lineup, with Henrique’s 16 points in 24 games likely to help boost a stagnating Ducks offense as of late. To make room on the active roster, the team reassigned defensemen Jacob Larsson and Greg Pateryn to the taxi squad and Brendan Guhle to the AHL’s San Diego Gulls.
- Two gigantic contributors are returning to the Vegas Golden Knights lineup, as wingers Max Pacioretty and Reilly Smith make their returns tonight, per the Las Vegas Sun’s Justin Emerson. Pacioretty’s rarely been healthy this year, but when he has, he’s scored at a torrid pace, netting 12 goals and 21 points in 16 games. Smith, coming off COVID protocol, has a respectable 29 points in 41 games.
- The New Jersey Devils got some good news with defenseman Ty Smith coming off injured reserve today, but he’s been replaced on the list by center Michael McLeod. Despite Smith’s strong rookie campaign last season, he’s having a serious sophomore slump with poor defensive numbers and just 10 points in 33 games to show for it. Hopefully, a reset can help jumpstart an improvement in play for the 21-year-old. The Devils will miss McLeod and his 11 points and 41 games in a depth role.