Call it the best non-hat trick Mike Modano ever had.
Modano, who had been held without a goal in nine previous games, scored twice in the first period and potted the winning shootout goal in a 5-4 win for the Stars over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday at American Airlines Center.
Officially, Modano's shootout goal doesn't count in the statistics, but the 17,511 fans couldn't have cared less. It pulled out a victory the Stars almost let get away and pushed Dallas to 17-7-1, in sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division. It also electrified the building, as it was the first-ever shootout at AAC and Modano's first-ever shootout-style goal.
Modano had gone 0-for-3 on penalty shots in his career and had not taken a shootout attempt under the rules the NHL installed this season.
Still, he used a vintage move to get the goal. Modano bellied wide to the left when he took possession of the puck at center ice, rushed in hard, selling a potential backhand move, then slammed on the brakes and forced a forehand shot over the goal line as Gerber fought hard to keep the puck out.
"That's kind of my go-to-the-well-if-I have-a-chance-alone-on-the-goalie move," Modano said. "I kind of get him sliding that one way, and then I stop and hold out for a little while."
Carolina disputed the goal, saying that it never crossed the goal line and that Modano stopped his forward momentum. However, officials allowed the goal to stand.
n Sharks savage Sabres
Joe Thornton had two assists in his debut with San Jose, setting up Jonathan Cheechoo twice, and the Sharks snapped a 10-game losing streak Friday with a 5-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
Evgeni Nabokov made 20 saves for his fourth win of the season but left with 11:20 remaining. He went directly to the dressing room, and backup Nolan Schaefer finished the game.
Grant Stevenson, Milan Michalek, and Nicholas Dimitrakos also scored for the Sharks, who won for the first time since an overtime victory against Anaheim on November 4.
Thornton, acquired Wednesday in a blockbuster deal with the Boston Bruins, started at center between his cousin Scott Thornton and Cheechoo.
Senators 5, Kings 1
At Ottawa, Dany Heatley scored twice and Dominik Hasek made 28 saves, leading Ottawa over Los Angeles in a game that featured several fights in a penalty-filled third period.
In other NHL action: Tampa Bay 3, Chicago 2 (SO).