Vancouver's Zac Dalpe scored at 18:15 of the second period.
Dallas solidified its hold on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, improving to 9-3-2 in their last 14 goals.
The fading Canucks, 11th in the West, dropped to 1-10-1 in their last 12 and fell four points behind Dallas.
This is the guy who made hockey cool in Dallas as many fans were just trying to figure out what they were watching. This is the guy who knew how daunting the task was the moment he arrived from puck-mad Minnesota two decades ago.
Sure, Jamie Benn or Tyler Seguin could be the one leading the Stars back to championship contention one of these days. But after Saturday, any return to glory will come under Modano's number hanging in the rafters.
"The only difference is I was 22, 23 coming into a town that didn't know anything about hockey," Modano told The Associated Press.
"So I grew up with this town, with the sport, so people couldn't relate to the sport without relating to a few of us in the same sense. And having the success that our team did and individually that I was able to have, those opportunities and those scenarios don't get played out too often in many cities or organizations."
It'll be a pretty rare party Saturday when the Stars play Minnesota, where Modano started his career as a No. 1 pick before the North Stars moved south in 1993, replaced by the expansion Wild seven years later.
There are 53 names on the "green carpet" list for the pregame festivities, many of them former teammates who beat Buffalo for the franchise's only Stanley Cup in 1999 and lost in the finals a year later to New Jersey.
This is an extended version of a story that appears in ESPN The Magazine's March 17 Conspiracy Issue. Subscribe today!
NOW IN HIS fourth season in the NHL, Stars center Tyler Seguin, 22, has made a name for himself as one of the league's most consistent and most consistently hardworking players. Through the Olympic break, he had 24 goals and 32 assists, putting him among the few point-per-game players, and, as he told The Mag, every home game ends with a workout. We chatted with the former NHL All-Star and Stanley Cup champ about his work ethic on and off the ice.
Craig Custance: What do you do during the season to maintain your physique?
Tyler Seguin: We practice pretty much every day, so there's only so much training you can do during the season. But after every home game, I work out. It's not an overbearing workout: a couple squats, a bit of core, activation of the glutes, some situps, a little upper body. It's toning, so every muscle gets burned.
Custance: Have you always been that diligent after games?
Seguin: When I was a rookie in Boston, it was mandatory, and I just stuck with it. The best time to work your muscles is when you're tired. Plus, after home games, you're not rushing to get on the bus or the plane.
Forget the long-term impact losing the first-round pick might have, or what conditions must be met to upgrade that third-rounder into a second. Here's a look at which way a few of the most active teams are moving during the stretch run with the deadline wrapped up.
New York Rangers: UP
We love Ryan Callahan. He’s a guy you win with. But in the here and now, Martin St. Louis can impact a game in ways that Callahan doesn’t. There are currently only five players who have scored more goals than St. Louis has this season and he has consistently been one of the game’s top point producers. The Rangers are at No. 19 in the league in scoring, averaging 2.54 goals per game. Adding St. Louis will help that. He's been on a bit of a hot streak and his even-strength PDO, which is a shooting percentage metric that measures luck, is at 103.2. That stat usually regresses to 100 over time, so he might not keep this pace. But he's the ultimate competitor and knows people will be watching to see how he handles the transition to New York after strong-arming his way out of Tampa. A driven Martin St. Louis is someone you want on your side, and his addition helps close the gap that existed between the Rangers and the East's two best teams in Boston and Pittsburgh.
Philadelphia Flyers: DOWN
GM Paul Homgren was in on Ryan Kesler but ultimately there wasn’t a deal to be made with Vancouver. He would have been a fantastic addition to the Flyers and would have moved them into that next tier in the East. Instead, the Flyers focused on addressing their defense by adding Andrew MacDonald, whom we like for his warrior mentality and fearlessness in blocking shots. But his advanced stats suggest he’s not a guy who helps drive possession. According to ExtraSkater.com, the Flyers are at No. 22 in the league with only 48.9 percent of their shots headed at the opposing goalie at even strength. Adding MacDonald doesn’t help there. When he was on the ice at even strength with the Islanders only 43.4 percent of the shots were headed the right way. It gives him more shots to block but that’s a dangerous way for a team to live. He won’t be asked to do as much with the Flyers, which should help his effectiveness.
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FRISCO, Texas-- Mike Modano has aged, though you can't really tell it by looking at him.
That young kid with the broad smile and the ability to skate circles around nearly anyone on the ice is sitting at a Starbucks on a chilly February morning not too far from Dr Pepper StarCenter, where another group of young kids is practicing and pushing to try to make the postseason.
Modano looks as though all he'd have to do is lace up the skates and he could play today. He's still in terrific shape -- even a more-than-occasional latte hasn't changed that. And he talks about the game like he never left.
"Maybe I'd still be playing if I hadn't gotten hurt," Modano said.
You can tell he believes it. But a wrist injury shortened his one year in Detroit at the end of his career, and Modano wasn't ready to try to rehab and go through an entire offseason to try to return.
Watching and listening to him as he sips his coffee, you can tell there's more wisdom than youth now in the 43-year-old Modano's life. Kids will do that to you. Modano and his wife, Allison, are preparing for twins a few months from now.
"I can't wait," Modano said. "Part of me always had a hard time thinking I could have kids and play hockey. I didn't want any distractions or outside things to affect me. I don't know if that was a selfish thing, but I thought when hockey ended that I'd have kids."
Ellis was shaky early for the Stars filling in for Lehtonen on the second night of a back-to-back in a 4-2 loss to Columbus on Tuesday. He is 5-6 with a 3.04 goals-against average.
The Stars added a veteran three years removed from winning the Stanley Cup as they try to end a five-year postseason drought. Dallas started the day holding the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Thomas had a 2.97 goals-against average in 40 starts for the Panthers after sitting out last season. He helped lead Boston to the Stanley Cup in 2011.
The suspicion was that this could be an especially active trade deadline. On Tuesday, it delivered, with a huge deal that sent Roberto Luongo to the Florida Panthers. The beauty of that trade? It leaves us with so much to talk about on the final day of the trade deadline.
Here are the latest notes and buzz on the trade front:
• Thomas Vanek of the Islanders remains the biggest rental piece on the market, yet there doesn’t seem to be a huge appetite among the contenders to pay GM Garth Snow's asking price -- at least not when I checked around Tuesday night. When Vanek didn’t play Tuesday night, there were rumors that a deal was close at hand. The Sharks, Kings, Ducks and Red Wings all were cool on Vanek at that time, so if a deal was close, they probably weren’t the destination.
That all can change the moment the asking price comes down, because when general managers say they aren’t thrilled with a player, it’s often a reflection of what it will cost rather than his ability.
“When we say we don’t like someone, we don’t like the situation,” said one GM on Tuesday. “By maxing [Vanek] out of the market, teams might have cooled if you have to give up a first[-round pick] and a prospect to get him and you don’t know if you can sign him.”
• That’s the other factor with Vanek. Teams considering acquiring him aren’t optimistic that doing so would give them any advantage when it comes to re-signing him, especially with the way it's ending with the Islanders.
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Columbus climbed into a tie for seventh with the Rangers in the Eastern Conference. The Blue Jackets have won three in a row and are vying for only their second postseason appearance since joining the league in 2000.
Columbus scored on the first shot of the game and bolted to a 3-0 first-period lead on goals by Boone Jenner, R.J. Umberger and Anisimov against back-up Dan Ellis. Ellis was shaky early in making his first appearance since Feb. 1.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves, one on an open shot by Jamie Benn with 5 minutes left with the Blue Jackets clinging to a one-goal lead. Bobrovsky solidly tracked loose pucks near the crease the entire game to improve to 5-0-1 against Dallas.
Is there an NHL GM who goes about his business more quietly than Anaheim's Bob Murray?
The architect of the NHL's top team at the quarter pole this season was at it again Tuesday, sending big winger Dustin Penner to Washington for a fourth-round pick, which the Ducks then turned around and sent to Dallas in exchange for veteran defenseman Stephane Robidas. (The pick sent to Dallas could become a third-rounder if Robidas plays 50 percent of the team's playoff games and the Ducks reach the Western Conference finals.)
The Ducks are awash in forwards but were in need of some defensive depth.
Robidas is a calculated risk.
The veteran defender broke his leg in a grisly incident in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks in late November and is just now back taking full practice. But assuming Robidas, who turned 37 on Monday, can stay healthy, he adds a nice element to a blue line that features emerging young stars Cam Fowler and Hampus Lindholm, along with veterans Francois Beauchemin and solid Ben Lovejoy.
The Ducks began play Tuesday with the best record in the NHL. If there was a perceived weaknesses in terms of being able to translate their regular-season success into a long playoff run in the spring, it was in terms of their experience and defensive depth.
With Sheldon Souray gone for the season with a wrist injury, Robidas has the potential to be a difference-maker as the playoffs move along.
Originally a Montreal draft pick, Robidas has been the poster boy for perseverance. He is among the NHL's toughest players and has routinely played through significant injuries. Since coming to Dallas in 2005-06, Robidas has been one of the most popular players in the Stars' dressing room. Robidas will skate with the team in Anaheim on Thursday and is expected to play within one or two weeks.
He will no doubt fit seamlessly into the Ducks' locker room.
The Ducks were a busy team Tuesday, as they also alleviated some of the logjam that had developed at the goaltender position by sending Viktor Fasth to the Edmonton Oilers for a fifth-round pick in 2014 and a third-round pick in 2015, which is an excellent return for a goaltender who has played little this season due to injury.
On the other side of the Robidas trade is Dallas GM Jim Nill, who is in his first year behind the helm of the Stars. His squad has played extremely well of late and as of Tuesday afternoon occupied the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
A playoff spot is by no means secure, however, and Nill's decision to move Robidas, who can become an unrestricted free agent in July, suggests that as much as making the playoffs is a priority for Nill so, too, is making sure the team is well-positioned moving forward.
The Stars have missed the playoffs five straight seasons. In some of those seasons, the Stars have come achingly close to qualifying for the postseason, only to fall out of it in the final days of the regular season. In 2011, for instance, they lost their final regular-season game, which cost them a playoff berth. A year later, they slumped down the stretch and lost control of the Pacific Division and a playoff spot. In the lockout-shortened 2013 season, they were winless in their final five games of the season to see any shot at a postseason berth disappear.
Could the same thing happen this season?
Would Robidas have helped secure a postseason spot? Sure. But it seems clear Nill does not want to find himself on the outside of the playoff bubble and then watch as assets walk out the door.
Does this suggest then that Nill be looking to move Ray Whitney or Vernon Fiddler, both of whom can become unrestricted free agents this summer?
Perhaps, especially if Nill might be able to land a player with some term on his contract in exchange or in a separate deal.
Robidas was acquired from the Dallas Stars for a conditional fourth-round pick that could become a third-rounder if he plays in 50 percent of the team's playoff games and the Ducks reach the Western Conference finals.
The 37-year-old Robidas has played in 24 games for Dallas this season, posting five points (4-1-5). He has not appeared in a game since breaking his leg on Nov. 29 against Chicago. Robidas ranks seventh in team history with 704 games played spanning two stints with the club (2002-04, 2005-14).
"Stephane is the consummate professional," Stars general manager Jim Nill said. "He has set a great example for our young core, not only when he was playing, but in his recovery as well. We want to wish Stephane and his family the best and thank him for all that he's done in his time here."
The Ducks (43-14-5) sent Fasth to the Edmonton Oilers for a fifth-round pick in 2014 and a third-round pick in '15. The 31-year-old Fasth took the league by storm last season, when he went 15-6 with a 2.18 goals-against average. He has been limited to five games this season because of a lower-body injury, going 2-2-1 with a 2.95 GAA.
DALLAS -- Alex Chiasson broke a third-period tie with his first goal in 13 games, and Lindy Ruff earned his 600th NHL coaching victory with a 3-2 win over his former team, the Buffalo Sabres, on Monday night.
The Stars opened a two-point lead over their closest pursuers for eighth place in the Western Conference. Ruff posted his first 571 wins with the Sabres before joining the Stars.
Defensemen Jordie Benn and Alex Goligoski both scored their third goal of the season for the Stars, who overcame a 1-0 deficit. Benn had been scoreless for 11 games, and Goligoski had gone 48 without a goal.
You know I'm intrigued by bubble teams at this time of year -- it's my favorite thing to write about.
The Dallas Stars are another team on the bubble, hanging on to a playoff spot by the slimmest of margins.
But it's not posing any issues for Stars general manager Jim Nill. He's got a clear plan, regardless.
He's open to hockey deals, yes, but he's not going to trade for any pending UFAs.
"Correct, we're not going to be in the rental market," Nill told ESPN.com Monday. "But if there's a hockey deal that makes sense, we'll look at it."
He's got pending UFAs of his own, such as veteran winger Ray Whitney and center Vernon Fiddler.
Given where the team is right now, the sense is he trades those types of players only if the deal makes sense. He wouldn't do it for the sake of gaining a limited asset in return.
"We're open for business, I'm always looking at things, but I'm not rushing to do something just to move a body to get a pick," Nill said.
Veteran defenseman Stephane Robidas, out since late November with that horrific leg injury, could be on the mend and is an interesting trade target for a contender, something TSN colleague Darren Dreger brought up Sunday on air.
My sense is Nill likely will get a read off Robidas, both in terms of his health -- there's a thought he could return within two or three weeks -- and what his wishes are in terms of staying put or moving on. I think there's so much respect for what Robidas has done in Dallas that the GM would take the player's lead there.
But that's just my read on it.
Meanwhile, Nill is excited by his team, which has picked it up in the second half to try to get into the playoff race.
"We've had a lot of guys take a step in their game," Nill said. "You saw Jamie Benn in the Olympics, Tyler Seguin has become a big part of this team, Erik Cole has taken charge, Jordie Benn on the back end, Trevor Daley and Alex Goligoski are playing well, so guys have bought into it. A lot of credit goes to the coaching staff, they've done a good job. There's some real excitement in our room."
Blackhawks standing pat?
Things can always change with one phone call, but the feeling I get is that despite the St. Louis Blues' big blockbuster trade on Friday, the rival Chicago Blackhawks will stick with their group as is.
The Blackhawks picked up Peter Regin before the Olympic break and Kris Versteeg earlier in the season, and unless something falls in their lap -- which is still possible before Wednesday -- word on the street is that the defending champs like their team and don't feel compelled to act.
I don't blame them. What's not to like?
Wings chasing Ehrhoff?
The Red Wings are believed to be among the teams interested in defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, whom the Sabres are shopping. He's got seven more years on his deal after this season, at a $4 million cap hit. What's better, though, is that $22 million of that 10-year, $40 million deal will have been paid off by the end of this season because it was front-loaded.
I don't think the Wings would overpay to get him, but he would fill a need for a top-four, offensively minded defenseman.
Waiting for Phillips
Still no word as of Monday afternoon on Chris Phillips and a decision after being offered a one-year contract extension by the Senators.
It's believed Phillips wanted a two-year extension.
If he doesn't sign, Ottawa could trade him before Wednesday's deadline.
As reported last week, the Boston Bruins have interest in Phillips but it's not clear whether Ottawa would be willing to deal him to a divisional rival.
The Bruins also are interested in Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald, among others. MacDonald is a solid, two-way guy who's a pending UFA, and it's clear the Isles are going to move him.
The Lightning had lost five of their previous seven games.
Goalie Ben Bishop cooled off Dallas by making 39 saves for his 29th win.
The four goals allowed by Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen were his most in 12 games, since a 4-3 loss to Colorado Jan. 27.
The Stars, who had been 7-1-2 in their previous 10 games, remained eighth in the Western Conference.
The Stars listed him day to day.
Dillon scored the game-winning goal in Thursday's 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. He leads Dallas with 128 hits and two short-handed goals. His plus-16 rating at home also leads the Stars.
Aaron Rome, who did not dress for the three previous games, would take Dillon's place on the active roster Saturday.