ANAHEIM — The inevitable was delayed by a little over a month and a lower body injury.
Ducks defenseman John Klingberg took on his former Dallas Stars teammates Wednesday night at the Honda Center. Accordingly, Klingberg was in the starting XI.
Klingberg had said he was looking forward to a specific individual challenge.
“It will be a lot of fun to play against Miro (Heiskanen),” he said after Wednesday’s skating session. “We all know how good he is. It will be fun to see how it is from the other side.”
Of course, veteran defender Heiskanen is just one of several high-octane threats facing the Stars. At the start of Wednesday’s action, linemates Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski have combined for 57 goals, with Robertson leading with 26.
“Obviously that top line — I feel like I know it pretty well,” Klingberg said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun to see if I can help our team slow them down a bit.”
Klingberg had played his first eight NHL seasons with the Stars – highlighted by a 2020 Stanley Cup Finals appearance in a losing effort to Tampa Bay – before signing a one-year, $7 million contract as a free agent with the Ducks in July. dollars signed. The Ducks played and lost (5-0) in Dallas on December 1, but Klingberg was absent from that trip due to a lower body injury and struggled for most of the first half of the season.
“I think Kling will light the fire,” said Ducks coach Dallas Eakins. “He did a much better job of not making things so complicated and keeping it simple.”
Klingberg: “Of course it will be a special game. … There will be many friendly faces out there, but they will be on the other side tonight. It’s gonna be a lot of fun. But I think it’s a big game for both teams.”
Who does he think will tweet the most from the other side?
“I think there will be a lot of them,” Klingberg said. “I feel like I’m pretty close to a lot of them. Jamie (Benn) will probably be there… (Tyler Seguin), (Joe) Pavelski. Some of the Finns probably too. My old D partner Esa Lindell will probably be there as well.”
Speaking about the game against his former team-mate in a pre-game interview with Bally Sports Southwest, Lindell remarked: “I’m not sure – I’m not a twitterer. But it was weird seeing it earlier in the year (Klingberg with Ducks) but now I’m just looking forward to us finally playing each other.
https://www.ocregister.com/2023/01/04/ducks-john-klingberg-eager-for-1st-game-against-stars/ Ducks’ John Klingberg looking forward to first game against Stars – Orange County Register