Modano had a goal and an assist to move within three points of the NHL record for American-born players Saturday night in the Dallas Stars’ 5-3 win over the Phoenix Coyotes.
With two more points, Modano can tie Phil Housley’s record of 1,232. He scored on the power play in the second period and assisted on Mike Ribeiro’s third-period goal.
“It’s amazing what he has accomplished. He is a great ambassador for the game,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said. “When you think of USA hockey, he is in the forefront of hockey in the U.S.”
The 37-year-old Modano, from Livonia, Mich., has played his entire career with the franchise since the Minnesota North Stars made him the top overall pick in the 1988 draft. He made his NHL debut in the 1989-1990 season.
“I’m reminded of the record all the time right now,” Modano said. “I’m just concerned about having a positive impact on my team. I have not been going good recently, and need to take little steps before the big ones.”
Shane Doan, Radim Vrbata and Daniel Carcillo scored for Phoenix, which has lost five straight at home.
“We worked hard getting our discipline in place. It seems the last few games we’ve gone out of our way not to be smart about our play. We have to reel that in during the coming games,” Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said.
Dallas goalie Mike Smith stopped 28 of 31 shots to earn his second win of the season. Sergei Zubov, Niklas Hagman and Jere Lehtinen also scored for the Stars.
Phoenix goalie Alex Auld allowed a soft goal early in the game when he missed Zubov’s weak shot from the right point. Doan tied it shortly afterward when he redirected Ed Jovanovski’s shot from the left point at 12:20.
The Stars were 2-for-5 on power-play opportunities, while the Coyotes were 0-for-4.
“Special teams are always the key. Obviously, they won the battle, and when that happens, it makes for a long game,” Doan said.
Notes: Modano had his first two-point game of the season. … Doan’s goal was the 200th of NHL career, including seven with Winnipeg before the franchise moved to Phoenix in 1996. … Ribeiro also had two assists, for his first three-point game of the season. … Hagman’s goal was short handed.