Though he's 33 years old and in the twilight of an injury-plagued career, Eric Lindros still can be an offensive force.
Coming off his first three-point game in nearly three years, Lindros will try to help the Dallas Stars open the season with four straight wins for the first time in a decade when they meet the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Saturday night.
Lindros had three assists in the Stars' 4-1 win over the Kings in Los Angeles on Thursday. It was the first three-point game for the former top overall pick since Nov. 10, 2003 while with the New York Rangers.
Dallas (3-0-0) is off to its best start since starting the 1996-97 season with six wins in a row.
A six-time All-Star and the 1995 Hart Trophy winner, Lindros has averaged 59 games in 12 seasons with Philadelphia, the Rangers and Toronto. So far, he's registered at least one point in all three games and leads the Stars with five.
"I think we have a team this year that's going to play extremely well," Lindros said. "There's a good feel in this room and it's fun to go out and play hockey."
A wrist injury last season limited Lindros to three games after Dec. 10. Overall, he appeared in just 33 games with the Maple Leafs and had 11 goals and 11 assists.
Goaltender Marty Turco said the addition of Lindros, who's suffered multiple concussions in his career, has helped Dallas get off to its hot start.
"He's been great for us," Turco said. "There are a lot of adjectives and cliches that have gotten thrown his way during his career because of the things that have happened to him. But he's still got the physical attributes and the skill, and it's his hunger that really pulls him into this team."
Turco has been another key for Dallas, stopping 87 of 91 shots for a 1.32 goals-against average.
"Marty's been excellent," Stars coach Dave Tippett said. "He's made a couple of tough saves when he's had to, and the team has played pretty well in front of him."
Turco had a career-high 41 wins last season, but struggled against the Kings going 2-4 with a 3.88 GAA.
Mike Modano, the Stars' all-time leading scorer, added a goal and an assist Thursday. He has 16 goals, including three game-winners, in 33 career games at Los Angeles.
Rookie defenseman Raitis Ivanans' first career goal early in the third period helped the Kings (2-2-0) avoid being shut out.
"We just got sand kicked in our face," Kings coach Marc Crawford said. "We did not have the type of passion that we needed to play with. The team was not ready to play at the start of the game, and that is my fault."
Los Angeles went 6-2 against the Stars last season thanks in large part to defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky, who had seven goals and seven assists in the season series. He managed only three shots on goal Thursday as the Kings scored fewer than three goals for the first time this season.
This is the fourth game of a season-high six-game homestand for Los Angeles.
|Mar 21 '07||DAL 4 at LAK 2||K. Barch|
|Mar 11 '07||LAK 3 at DAL 4 - OT||M. Modano|
|Jan 15 '07||LAK 1 at DAL 3||N. Hagman|
|Dec 16 '06||DAL 4 at LAK 3 - SO||M. Ribeiro|
|Nov 24 '06||LAK 3 at DAL 5||P. Boucher|
|Oct 28 '06||LAK 2 at DAL 3||J. Halpern|
|Oct 14 '06||DAL 4 at LAK 1||B. Morrow|
|Oct 12 '06||DAL 4 at LAK 1||M. Modano|