Modano's short-handed goal breaks U.S.-born scoring record

Updated: November 8, 2007, 3:00 AM ET
Associated Press

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 six points.

[+] EnlargeMike Modano
AP Photo/Marcio Jose SanchezMike Modano's short-handed goal on the Sharks' Evgeni Nabokov broke Phil Housley's NHL record for career points by an American-born player.

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 in.

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 his glove.

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 Angeles.

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.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press