On a day Guerin and Modano were named All-Star starters for the
first time, the duo set each other up for early goals, carrying the
league-leading Dallas Stars past Colorado 6-3 Saturday and
stretching their season-best unbeaten streak to nine games.
Guerin scored off a nice drop pass from Modano, then Modano put
Guerin's pass in the net. The second goal, which put Dallas ahead
for good, came less than a minute after the All-Star picks were
announced in the arena. Fans responded with a standing ovation.
"It was a good afternoon all the way around," said Modano, who
also capped the scoring with an empty netter with 1:34 left and
moved within an assist of tying the franchise record.
Guerin and Modano mostly have played together this season, but
they were separated the previous game. They started this game
apart, then scored almost immediately after being reunited.
To that point, Dallas had taken only two weak shots. Then Modano
charged into the zone and left the puck for Guerin, who got it past
a charging Patrick Roy.
"That's why he's Mike Modano. He makes plays like that,"
Roy was selected to his 11th All-Star game, but allowed four
goals for a third straight game. He was pulled after two periods,
having stopped only 13 of 17 shots. He gave up three goals in the
second period, including two 55 seconds apart, helping the Stars
increase their NHL-best point total to 61.
"I didn't make the big saves, and I deserved to be at the end
of the bench in the third period," Roy said. "My confidence
doesn't get shaky. I feel good physically."
The Stars, who have seven wins and two ties during their current
run, have scored 17 goals in their last three games. They have
points in 19 of their 20 home games.
But it all gets put on hold now. Dallas doesn't play again until
Saturday in San Jose.
"We want to play tomorrow. But we've played the most games in
the Western Conference, so the break comes at a good time," said
coach Dave Tippett, who is giving players Sunday and Monday off.
Colorado lost its third straight and fourth in five games,
falling to 6-5-0-1 under new coach Tony Granato. After blowing a
two-goal lead at home in the previous game, the Avs were expecting
a better effort.
"It's as low as we've been all year," said defenseman Rob
Blake, also an All-Star starter. "We hit a stretch where we put
some numbers up, but now we've fallen back into the old pattern of
getting outplayed by a better team. It was a measuring-stick game,
and they outplayed us."
Dallas missed the playoffs last season, then made the signing of
Guerin the centerpiece of an offseason overhaul.
Guerin leads the team in goals and penalty minutes, and is
second to Modano in points. Modano leads the team in assists.
"I've tried not to put too much pressure on my myself," Guerin
said. "But I think expectations come with a big contract. I feel a
responsibility to myself, my teammates and the club."
Modano and Guerin are the first players in franchise history to
be voted All-Stars since fan balloting began in 1986. Modano will
be going to the game for the fifth time and Guerin for the second.
Guerin was the MVP of the 2001 game.
Colorado's Milan Hejduk made it 1-1 early in the second period,
scoring his 12th goal in 17 games after great stickhandling by
Steven Reinprecht got goaltender Marty Turco leaning the wrong way.
Blake and Joe Sakic scored power-play goals in the third period.
Dallas had killed 14 of 15 penalties against Colorado this season
Dallas defenseman Richard Matvichuk broke a bone in his
left leg while blocking a shot. He'll be out four-to-six weeks. ...
The Stars' arena hosts the U.S. Figure Skating Championships so
they aren't home again until Jan. 22.