Mike Modano keeps inching closer to an impressive milestone.
Modano had a goal and an assist to move within three points of the NHL record for American-born players Saturday night in the Dallas Stars' 5-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena.
With two more points, Modano can tie Phil Housley's record of 1,232. He scored on the power play in the second period and assisted on Mike Ribeiro's third-period goal.
The 37-year-old Modano, from Livonia, Mich., has played his entire career with the franchise since the Minnesota North Stars made him the top overall pick in the 1988 draft. He made his NHL debut in the 1989-1990 season.
“The flow to the game was good and there was some open ice,” Modano said. “It feels good to go out there and feel like you contributed. It's still small steps that I have to take and it felt like I took one tonight.”
His coach agreed:
"Mike took a step forward tonight," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "I thought our special teams played well and we got a few guys chipping in that gave us a much-needed two points. I thought Matt Niskanen played a great game as well. We came out here looking for a good road win and we got it."
Dallas goalie Mike Smith stopped 28 of 31 shots to earn his second win of the season. Sergei Zubov, Niklas Hagman and Jere Lehtinen also scored for the Stars while Brenden Morrow finished with three assists.
The Stars special teams were excellent as Dallas scored twice with the man-advantage, killed off four Coyotes power plays and scored short-handed in the second period when Stu Barnes hit Hagman breaking free for his team leading sixth goal of the season.
“I felt pretty good tonight and when you see a little open room, you get it in your mind that you're going to get a breakaway.” Hagman said. “The most important thing is to kill the penalty, but if I have a chance like that I'm going to try and score a goal. One of the key points before the game was the special teams and I thought we did a pretty good job with that tonight.”
Ribeiro finished with a goal and two assists to run his point totals against the Coyotes to seven goals and eight assists in the past nine games.
“We knew we had to be ready tonight,” Ribeiro said. “We haven't been playing our best hockey on the road and we got the first goal and from there tried to stay disciplined. Our line is playing well right now and I really enjoy playing with those guys. It was good that other guys like Modano and Hagman pitched in too. If everybody is pitching in like they did tonight we're going to be a tough team to beat.”
Next up for the Stars is a Pacific Division match up with the San Jose Sharks on Monday at American Airlines Center at 7:00p.m. (Versus; WBAP).
1 - 0 DAL