With Mike Modano back to form, the Dallas Stars are hoping to pick up some momentum for the postseason.
The Stars look to improve their position in the Western Conference playoff race when they host the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.
Modano scored the game-winner Sunday in Dallas' 4-3 overtime victory over Los Angeles on Sunday. The goal was the 499th of his career, leaving the veteran center three behind Joe Mullen for the all-time lead among U.S.-born players.
Modano had struggled to regain his rhythm after sitting out 23 consecutive games in December and January with a hip injury, but has scored three goals in his last five contests, ending a nine-game stretch without a tally.
"I felt good out there," he told the Stars' official Web site. "It feels as good as it has in a long time, back to where it was before the injury, so that's a good sign. That gives me a little bit of confidence to get up and down the ice better and make some things happen."
The Stars, meanwhile, have won two straight after a four-game losing streak. They are tied with San Jose and Minnesota for fifth place in the Western Conference, just one point ahead of Calgary for the eighth and final playoff spot but 11 in front of ninth-place Colorado.
Tuesday's game wraps up a stretch of four games for Dallas against teams who are likely out of postseason contention. The Stars lost at St. Louis on Thursday before winning at Columbus on Friday.
Stars coach Dave Tippett said that even though Modano has admitted thinking about the U.S. record, he wants his star forward focusing on the playoff push.
"Modano has to concentrate on doing the things within our team game that he's good at and his points will come," Tippett said.
Sergei Zubov picked up three assists against the Kings and has a goal and five assists in his last three games.
The Stars and Flyers have not faced each other since March 11, 2004. Each of their last three meetings have resulted in 2-2 ties. Even though this year's Philadelphia club owns the worst record in the NHL, Tippett said the Flyers cannot be taken lightly.
"They've added a bunch of young players," he told Dallas' Web site. "When you got people that are playing for jobs and not having a lot of pressure, they're hard teams to beat and Philly falls right into that."
The Flyers (19-39-11) have alternated losses and wins in their last seven games. They were shut out for the fourth time this season on Monday, falling 4-0 to Phoenix. Goalie Martin Biron made 20 saves but fell to 3-2-1 since being acquired from Buffalo on Feb. 27.
"We made it very clear that this was going to be a hard game," said Philadelphia coach John Stevens, whose team failed to win consecutive games for the first time since Feb. 10 and 12. "We had to dig in and pay the price, and for whatever reason it didn't happen."
|Mar 13 '07||PHI 2 at DAL 3|