DALLAS -- Mike Modano is a step closer to another milestone.
Modano moved within a goal of matching Joe Mullen for the most
among U.S.-born players, and the Dallas Stars stretched their
winning streak to four with a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames
on Thursday night.
The 36-year-old Modano, a native of Livonia, Mich., notched his
501st career goal in the first period, then assisted on rookie
Junior Lessard's power-play goal later in the frame to help the
Stars improve to 16-5-4 in their last 25 games.
On Tuesday, Modano became the 39th NHL player to reach 500
"That was a big goal," Stars goalie Marty Turco said. "I'm
sure he would like to get it out of the way and the sooner, the
better. It's unique and special."
A few days ago, Modano spoke by phone with Mullen, now an
assistant coach with Philadelphia of the AHL. Mullen sent his best
to Modano in his pursuit for the record.
Stars coach Dave Tippett was a teammate of Mullen's with the
Pittsburgh Penguins, and Tippett has developed a relationship with
Modano during their four seasons together in Dallas.
"I've gotten to know American hockey's two top scorers,"
Tippett said. "They're great human beings and great hockey
The Stars had a scare with 8:40 left in the second when Modano
was checked hard to the ice by defenseman Dion Phaneuf. Modano was
trying to take possession of a lead pass at the Calgary blue line
and was down for about a minute after hitting his head on the ice.
Modano was knocked woozy but was back for his next shift.
"That took a little wind out of my sails," Modano said. "I
saw [Phaneuf] and was able to get my hand up to take some of the
impact. I was caught a little off balance. But I'm OK."
Modano missed 23 straight games in December and January with a
hip injury, but has returned to form with five goals in seven games
to give him 16 for the season.
Dallas is 31-13-3 this season with Modano in the lineup.
Niklas Hagman added a power-play goal for Dallas and Sergei
Zubov had two assists in his 1,000th NHL game. Turco made 30 saves,
including a key stop on a breakaway by Calgary's top scorer Jerome
Iginla midway through the second period.
"Turco made some unbelievable saves," said Iginla, who
finished with 10 shots and one assist. "We felt that we had lots
of legitimate scoring chances. We were in the crease and we were
Jere Lehtinen's empty-netter with 50 seconds left -- his
team-high 25th goal of the season -- gave Dallas a 4-2 edge.
Modano scored the first goal at 9:25 of the opening period,
beating McLennan between the pads on a slap shot from beyond the
left circle while Lessard screened the goalie.
"I got some room to get a shot on the power play," Modano
said. I was able to get good wood on it. I didn't have many chances
Modano set up Lessard's power-play rebound -- Lessard's first
goal of the season and second in the NHL -- at 11:53 of the first
period for a 2-0 Dallas lead.
The Stars were on a four-minute power play after McLennan
received penalties for slashing and unsportsmanlike conduct.
McLennan was angry over the call, contending his stick never
connected with a Dallas player.
"The referee was upset at the terminology that was used as
(McLennan) expressed his emotion," Calgary coach Jim Playfair
Calgary made it 2-1 at 3:59 of the second period when Lombardi
converted a centering pass. But Hagman scored his third goal in
four games and 16th of the season at 14:21 of the second period to
stretch Dallas' advantage to 3-1.
Dallas was without D Mattias Norstrom (knee), C Eric
Lindros (groin), RW Chris Conner (lower body), LW Ladislav Nagy
(facial laceration) and C Jeff Halpern (foot). ... C Craig Conroy
(upper body) was out for the Flames. ... Stars captain Brenden
Morrow has been participating in full-contact practices, and
Tippett said Morrow will play Saturday at Nashville. Morrow has
been sidelined since Dec. 26 due to severed tendons in his wrist.
... McLennan was hit under the mask on a slap shot by Dallas'
Philippe Boucher with 4:01 left in the second period. The mask was
knocked off by the shot, but McLennan stayed in after being checked
by Flames medical personnel.