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Modano earns 1,000th career point in victory

DALLAS (AP) -- Mike Modano knew the milestone was coming. Yet
when he notched the 1,000th point of his career, the thought of it
overwhelmed him.

Modano became the fifth U.S.-born player to reach that mark when
he recorded a first-period assist, then Niko Kapanen scored a
shorthanded goal with 3:29 left to carry the Dallas Stars past the
Colorado Avalanche 4-2 Friday night.

The Stars commemorated Modano's feat with a video tribute that
drew a standing ovation. As it ended, cameras showed him sitting on
the bench watching the overhead screen. At first he shook his head,
then he raised a hand to acknowledge the cheers.

"It really hit home,'' Modano said. "It was very emotional.
You think about all the players that I have played with and the
players that have made an impact. When I went to the bench, those
guys were on my mind.''

Colorado goalie Patrick Roy also had a memorable accomplishment,
becoming the NHL career leader in minutes played, breaking the mark
held by Terry Sawchuk. Apparently in a giddy mood from the Modano
celebration, Stars fans even gave their longtime nemesis a standing
ovation.

"I was surprised,'' said Roy, noting he can't remember
receiving such a reaction on the road. "It was nice.''

Roy finished the night with 57,202 minutes. Sawchuk had 57,194
in his 21-season NHL career.

Still, it wasn't enough to prevent the Avalanche from losing in
regulation on the road for the first time this season.

The difference was special teams.

Bill Guerin and Pierre Turgeon scored power-play goals, giving
Dallas two in one game for the first time since the opener. It was
the fifth time in seven games that the Avalanche allowed at least
two power-play goals.

Throw in the game-clinching goal by Kapanan while a man down,
and a penalty kill that was six of seven -- including 43 seconds
with a two-man deficit -- and there's little doubt why Dallas leads
the league in both units at home. The Stars also are 6-0-0-1 at
American Airlines Center this season.

"Dallas is a very strong team,'' Avalanche forward Mike Keane
said. "They're playing desperate hockey right now. They realize
they don't want to happen what happened last year. That's a good
lesson for us.''

The teams tied at 1 in the opener, then have gone different
directions since. Colorado has been up on the road and down at
home, while the Stars have zoomed to the top of the Western
Conference after missing the playoffs last season.

Before the game, Dallas coach Dave Tippett wrote on a locker
room message board "Game 19 -- Measuring stick.'' Afterward,
everyone was pleased with their progress.

"We wanted this to be a statement game,'' said goaltender Marty
Turco, who shook off two early goals and played great the last two
periods. "There were things we wanted to accomplish. We certainly
like what we're doing as a whole.''

As well as the team played, Modano's individual achievement
still stands out.

The 576th assist of his career -- and fifth in as many games --
started with a pass to Ulf Dahlen behind the net.

Dahlen, whose first stint with the franchise was in 1989-90 when
Modano was a rookie and the team played in Minnesota, skated away
from Roy, then flipped the puck blindly behind him. It went almost
straight in, putting Dallas up 2-1 and making Modano just the 26th
player to score 1,000 points from the beginning of his career with
one team.

The only other Americans to reach that peak are Joe Mullen, Pat
LaFontaine, Jeremy Roenick and Phil Housley.

"He's worked hard for every point he's gotten,'' Guerin said.
"Guys like that are all great in their own way. Mike's played 14
years and he's not close to being done yet. I think he's going to
emerge as the best.''

Colorado led 1-0 on a goal by Radim Vrbata in the opening
minutes. The Avalanche closed the first period with a goal by Joe
Sakic that made it 2-2. The Stars had allowed only seven
first-period goals all season.

The Stars dominated the middle period, but were still holding
their slim lead and were on the penalty kill when Kapanen took a
pass from Richard Matvichuk and beat Roy for the game-clinching
goal. It was Kapanen's second goal of the season and the first
point this season for Matvichuk.

"Their best players were better than ours,'' Colorado coach Bob
Hartley said.

Game notes
The Stars lowered their netting from 68 feet to the league
minimum 14 feet. The team said it could safely make the switch
because of a new support system. ... Colorado center Vaclav
Nedorost missed his first game this season. He had a leg injury.
... Dallas won for the first time after trailing 1-0. ... Roy, who
won his 500th game in Dallas last season, passed Sawchuk for most
games played last month.