The Stars paid tribute to Mike Modano in pre-game ceremonies for another career achievement, and a few hours later the franchise’s all-time leading scorer returned the favor with his 513th career goal.
Modano's third-period power-play goal extended his record for U.S.-born NHL players, and Niklas Hagman struck 41 seconds later on the power play to help the Stars stop Anaheim's four-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory over the Ducks on Wednesday night.
The Stars were honoring Modano for surpassing Phil Housley's points record of 1,232 for U.S.-born players. Modano rode an emotional roller-coaster during the ceremony, receiving several gifts from the club while surrounded by family, friends and teammates.
"It was a big thrill,'' Modano said. "A lot of people who influenced me and were big parts of my life were here. The list is a mile long.”
The tying goal against the Ducks extended Modano's career points total to 1,239. Modano set the mark on Nov. 7 at San Jose, and Housley and former U.S.-born goal-scoring leader Joe Mullen were on hand for the ceremonies on Wednesday night.
"The guys talked this morning about the great gifts he would get, but the one gift he could give us back was to play a heck of a game, and I thought he played really well,'' Stars coach Dave Tippett said after collecting his 200th coaching victory.
Dallas trailed 1-0 after two periods, and Modano came out of the locker room determined to get his team going.
“Mo led the charge,'' Stars goalie Mike Smith said.
Scoring chances were at a premium in the matchup of tight-checking teams, and Dallas received a two-man advantage for 45 seconds of the third period with Anaheim's Mathieu Schneider and Travis Moen in the penalty box for delay of game.
Modano tied it at 1 with a one-timer from the right circle at 7:35 for his sixth goal of the season, beating Anaheim goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Sergei Zubov set up Modano, earning his 600th NHL assist.
"It was tight. There weren't many opportunities out there,'' Modano said. "You've got to wait for your opportunities.
We said let's just get the first one (goal) and tie it up. When we did, the momentum changed.”
Giguere had little chance on Modano's goal.
"This was (Modano's) big night,'' Schneider said. "That (shot) was a rocket. (Giguere) didn't have a chance. I thought we played 60 great minutes. So did they. I thought we deserved better."
The Stars' remaining advantage carried over, and Hagman gave Dallas a 2-1 edge with a rebound goal at 8:16 of the third period, Hagman's team-high 10th of the season.
Dallas power play continues to roll, with the Stars converting five of their last 10 chances with the manpower edge.
“I was actually in the wrong place,’’ Hagman said. “But I got the rebound and put it in. It’s a confidence thing on the power play and we got some chances and created some momentum. It’s great to see us bury those chances.
Smith stopped 17 shots in his third straight start for the Stars, 3-0-1 since last week's front-office shake-up by owner Tom Hicks.
“We found a way to win,’’ Smith said. “It was another great effort. Confidence comes from winning and this week was big for me. It was neat to be a part of Mike’s night. The place blew up when he scored his goal and we didn’t want to go out with a loss on Mo’s night.”
The victory gave the Stars 24 points, moving them one behind first-place San Jose in the Pacific Division.
Smith, the backup for Marty Turco, has allowed only two goals in those three starts so Tippett decided to stay with the hot goalie.
Smith had to make a series of tough stops in the final 40 seconds after Dallas' Stephane Robidas went to the penalty box for hooking. Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle pulled Giguere to give his team a 6-on-4 skating edge, but Smith hung on to preserve the victory.
"It got loud there the last minute or so, and at the end there was a sigh of relief," Smith said. "We found a way to get a win. It was a great effort for our team."
Giguere stopped 22 shots, and Corey Perry scored his fourth goal in six games for the Ducks.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Ducks had recovered from a 4-7-2 start with their four-game winning streak, but they've lost all three meetings with the Stars this season.
Perry struck on the power play for his 12th goal to give Anaheim a 1-0 first-period lead.
Stars defenseman Trevor Daley went to the penalty box for hooking at 6:47, and Perry scored from close range seven seconds later.
-- Dallas has points in each of the last five games (3-0-2).
-- Over Dallas’ past 10 periods of play (excluding overtime and shootout), they have outscored their opponents by an 13-2 margin.
-- Head Coach Dave Tippett won his 200th game tonight (200-104-45) and became the third fastest to win 200 games in NHL history (he won his 200th game in his 349th career NHL contest).
-- Mike Modano’s power play goal gives him points four of his past five games (2-4-6).
-- Niklas Hagman’s power play goal extends his point streak to four games (3-1-4), tying his career-high four-game point streak originally set from Mar. 9 – 15, 2007.
-- Sergei Zubov’s assist (Modano) was his 600th career NHL assist and gives him seven assists over his past five games (0-7-7).
-- Brenden Morrow’s assist (Modano) gives him a six-game point streak (3-5-8 pts), one game shy of his career-high for point-streak (7 games, set earlier this season).