SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Dallas center Mike Modano broke Phil
Housley's NHL record for career points by an American-born player
with two quick goals in the opening minutes of the Stars' 3-1
victory over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night.
Modano's back-to-back goals, including a short-handed
record-breaker, in the first 4:24 gave him 1,233 points in 1,253
regular-season games -- 242 games fewer than Housley played.
Modano, a 37-year-old Michigan native who has spent his entire
career with the Stars in Minnesota and Dallas, moved into 35th
place on the NHL's career scoring list, trailing Peter Stastny by
Modano became the American career goal-scoring leader March 17
with two goals against Nashville, surpassing Joe Mullen's previous
record of 502. The three-time U.S. Olympian moved into 33rd place
among all NHL goal-scorers with 511, breaking his tie with
Pittsburgh's Mark Recchi.
Modano, who hadn't scored in Dallas' previous three games amid
worries he was pressing for the record, tied Housley's mark by
beating Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov on a long slap shot just 2:19
Mere moments after the Shark Tank crowd gave a warm round of
applause for Modano's achievement, the star center broke away for a
short-handed goal 4:24 in, slipping the puck under Nabokov to break
the record. San Jose's Jeremy Roenick, another U.S. star on the
edge of a milestone, was among the Sharks who banged their sticks
on the boards in appreciation.
The San Jose crowd applauded less graciously that time around,
well aware Modano had put its team in a big hole with his usual
dynamic skills. Modano still acknowledged the cheers with a wave of
Roenick failed to provide a double dose of American hockey
history, remaining one shy of becoming the third U.S.-born player
with 500 goals. Roenick got his 499th Saturday night in Los
Modano, the first overall pick in the 1988 draft, has been the
Stars' highest-profile player for nearly two decades and led Dallas
to the Stanley Cup in 1999.
The six-time All-Star scored a career-high 93 points during the
franchise's final season in Minnesota (1992-93) and equaled it the
following season after the Stars moved to Texas. He is the
franchise's career leader in goals, assists, points, games played,
game-winning goals, power-play goals and short-handed goals.
Modano briefly thought he had tied the record one week earlier
in Dallas' home loss to Chicago. He was credited with the second
assist on a goal by defenseman Sergei Zubov, but the point was
taken away minutes later after officials determined Modano didn't
actually touch the puck.
Housley, a defenseman from St. Paul, Minn., played for eight
teams in 21 outstanding seasons despite never winning the Norris
Trophy or the Stanley Cup. He held the U.S. points record for seven
years after getting 338 goals and 894 assists from 1982-2003 for
Buffalo, Winnipeg, St. Louis, Calgary, New Jersey, Washington,
Chicago and Toronto.
Housley retired in 2003 and was inducted into the United States
Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004. Housley still holds one dubious
record: He played in more games than any player in NHL history
without winning a championship.