Klingberg surgery wraps up tough week for NHL injuries

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An injury to one of the NHL’s best defenders on Thursday night wraps up what has been a pretty costly week on the injury front.

Let’s take a quick look.

First, the Dallas Stars announced on Friday that defenseman John Klingberg, currently the team’s second-leading point producer, is going to be sidelined for the next four weeks after undergoing hand surgery.

He was injured in the Stars’ 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night when he was hit by a puck.

It is a pretty significant blow to a Stars team that is starting to get on a bit of a roll (6-2-1 in its past nine games) after a slow start.

The 26-year-old Klingberg is coming off of a career-year in 2017-18 that saw him finish with 67 total points and a sixth-place finish in the Norris Trophy voting. Given the way he was playing at the start of this season he was once again going to be in that Norris Trophy discussion this season. This injury is certainly going to be an obstacle in that quest.

In his absence rookie standout Miro Heiskanen will take on an even bigger role (and he is already playing more than 22 minutes) and work the point on the top power play unit.

Klingberg’s injury was not the only big one this week.

In Tampa Bay, the Lightning learned they will be without forward Ondrej Palat will be out for an additional four weeks due to a lower-body injury.

Palat had already been sidelined for the past six games after blocking a shot all the way back on Oct. 26. He has only played in nine games this season, recording five assists, but when healthy he is a great complementary piece to the Lightning’s star forwards. Unfortunately for him injuries have forced him to miss at least 20 games in two of the past three seasons. He has played more than 75 games in a season just once in six years.

Meanwhile, the Canucks have not had one of their best young players — winger Brock Boeser — on their current six-game road trip as he continues to deal with a groin strain. Not only has he not played since the team’s 7-6 overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche on Nov. 2 (a game where Boeser recorded two goals and two assists), but the team sent him back to Vancouver this week to see a specialist in an effort to recover from the injury he has been dealing with since the middle of October.

The Canucks are one of the NHL’s biggest surprises this season with a 10-6-1 record through 17 games and are one of the highest scoring teams in the league. They have done that even though their two best young players (Elias Pettersson and Boeser) have combined to miss 10 man games due to injury.

Without Boeser on this current road trip the Canucks have collected three out of a possible four points and are coming off of a huge 8-5 win in Boston on Thursday night. The Canucks have four more games on this current road trip which continues on Saturday night in Buffalo, before wrapping up with games at the New York Rangers, New York Islanders, and Minnesota Wild.

MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.