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Modano powers Stars over Canucks

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Mike Modano found the net
from a seemingly impossible angle.

He wasn't sure how, but it really didn't matter.

Modano tied the game with his high degree of difficulty shot 5
minutes into the third period and then netted the winner with 5
minutes left as the Dallas Stars rallied to beat the Vancouver
Canucks 2-1 on Saturday night.

"I don't know how it went in. I was past the goal line," said
Modano, who was 15 feet wide of the net when he one-timed Jussi
Jokinen's cross-ice pass through the crease and past sprawled
goalie Alex Auld to tie it 4:36 into the third period.

After going six-plus periods without a goal, the Stars didn't
care how Modano did it. But they weren't surprised to see him score
again with 4:38 remaining. This time he ripped a drive from the
point on the power play and beat Auld low on the stick side through
Jokinen's moving screen to make it 2-1.

"It's a big goal and that's what our leader on the ice does for
us," goaltender Marty Turco said of Modano. "We needed someone to
step up, and that line is our go-to line."

Turco only needed 14 saves for the win, but like Modano, had to
step up late in the game as the Canucks spent the final 1:49 on the
power play.

Vancouver pulled Auld for a 6-on-4 skating advantage in the
final minute, but Turco got a toe on Nolan Baumgartner's point
shot, stuffed Anson Carter in tight and got some help when Daniel
Sedin's deflection hit the base of the post.

"It s fun when the buzzer sounds and the puck is not in the
net," Turco said.

Jere Lehtinen added two assists for the Stars, who outshot the
Canucks 29-15 and won for the fourth time in five games. It was
also the ninth win for Dallas when trailing after two periods --
tops in the NHL this season.

"It's our ability to stay with the game plan and not really
veer off too much," Modano said. "If we're behind, we don't start
trying low percentage plays, we stick with it and keep the puck
going forward and hopefully we'll get a break."

With four losses in five games, the Canucks could use a break of
their own. They appeared to get it when Henrik Sedin scored
short-handed with 24.5 seconds left in the second period, but blew
a third-period lead for the second straight game.

"It was right there for us, but we didn't get it done," said
Brendan Morrison, putting the blame on a power play that is
1-for-24 in the four losses after being blanked on five attempts by
the Stars.

The Canucks were held to one shot on their first four attempts
before adding two in the final minute.

"Our power play didn't come through," Morrison said. "It's a
bunch of little things but they're adding up to big points we're
losing out on. To win games you've got to score goals, and we just
aren't doing that."

Dallas paired Willie Mitchell, added from Minnesota on Thursday,
with Sergei Zubov, while the Canucks put newcomers -- and former
Chicago teammates in the mid-1990s -- Keith Carney and Eric Weinrich
together. They also put Sean Brown, picked up from New Jersey at
the trade deadline, with Bryan Allen.

Mitchell's debut started with a four-minute high sticking
penalty 2 minutes in, but the Stars easily killed that off. They
held Vancouver without a shot for three minutes before Brendan
Morrison's offensive zone penalty ended the power play.

Dallas blanked the Canucks on another early power play -- with
Turco clearing the puck three times -- and outshot them 8-2 through
20 minutes. Vancouver only had two shots in the third period before
adding another two in the late power-play flurry.

For the second straight game, Auld carried a shutout into the
third period only to lose. He made his best saves on point blank
one-timers by Modano and Antti Miettinen, and stuffed Brendan
Morrow alone in tight in both the second and third periods.

Game notes
These teams will meet again in Dallas on Monday night, the
start of a three-game road trip for the Canucks. ... Vancouver G
Dan Cloutier skated lightly on his own Friday for the first time
since having left knee surgery on Dec. 15. He is out indefinitely.