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John Klingberg Excited About Playoffs in Dallas; Antti Niemi Anticipated in Net vs Arizona Coyotes

John Klingberg has no idea why his teammates always want to be on a deserted island with him. Because he’s a good person? Because they’ll always have someone there that will be more sunburned than they are? The mystery continues, though, as Klingberg could only posit theories with the folks at NHL Network earlier today. You can see his interview here or in the video below.

More surprisingly learned from this segment, however, was the fact that Klingberg switched to the defense position just two seasons before his draft year in 2010. The Dallas Stars were the only team that he spoke with prior to being drafted in the fifth round. He wasn’t present at the draft since he didn’t anticipate being picked that season.

The fact that Klingberg is currently 5th in NHL D-scoring, in just his second season in the NHL, after playing the position for just eight seasons when most play there the majorities of their developmental years, is surprising in a very nice way for Stars fans. Even better is that phenomenal long-term, team friendly contract that Dallas general manager Jim Nill was a genius for giving him last year.

Morning Skate Update

Antti Niemi gets the nod in net tonight as the Stars try to avoid being swept this season by the Arizona Coyotes. I would anticipate we see both Niemi and Kari Lehtonen splitting starts for the last six games this season, so that both are fresh going into the playoffs. It also gives the coaching staff the opportunity to determine a game one starter.

Lines and pairings didn’t see much change from last game, with Mike Heika reporting the following from morning skate:

Jamie BennCody EakinPatrick Sharp
Mattias JanmarkJason SpezzaValeri Nichushkin
Antoine RousselRadek FaksaAles Hemsky
Travis Moen/Patrick EavesVernon FiddlerColton Sceviour

Alex Goligoski – John Klingberg
Johnny OduyaStephen Johns
Patrik NemethJordie Benn
Jamie Oleksiak

Moen and Oleksiak appear to be the healthy scratches tonight. Puck drop is at 7:30 pm CST.