|Mike Modano was kept off the scoresheet in Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Blackhawks. The Livonia, Michigan native remains just one point behind Phil Housley for most points recorded by a U.S.-born player.
But the man who may surpass both of the aforementioned continues to shine in his rookie campaign.
Nineteen days shy of his 19th birthday, Patrick Kane notched a goal and an assist, and Jason Williams broke a 4-4 tie with 20.4 seconds left in regulation as the Chicago Blackhawks rallied for a 5-4 victory over Modano’s Dallas Stars at the American Airlines Center.
The Stars trailed 3-1 after two periods, but scored three times in the first 10:07 of the final period to take a 4-3 lead. Williams had the tying and winning goals.
"It was a nice win," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "It got everybody going. I like the way we fought back."
Twelve games into his NHL career, Kane has 16 points, pulling him within 1,215 points of Modano. OK, maybe it’s a tad early to be on such a watch, but it’s certainly possible that Kane could one day surpass American greats such as Modano and Housley.
For a moment, it appeared that Modano had tied Housley’s record when No. 9 was credited with an assist on Sergei Zubov’s power-play goal at 10:07 of the third period. But replays clearly showed that Modano never touched the puck, and the assist was stricken from the record shortly after the game concluded.
“Someone screwed up,” Modano said of the initial scoring. “It’s why I didn’t want to stand up. Somebody else eventually figured it out. But I told them after the game. I can’t do it that way.”
Michael Ribeiro gave the Stars a 1-0 lead just 4:02 into the game, extending his scoring streak to seven straight games. But Jonathan Toews, Chicago’s other rookie sensation, tied things up a little more than three minutes later.
James Wisniewski gave Chicago (6-6-0) its first lead of the night with a power play goal at 8:30 of the second, and Kane extended the Blackhawks’ lead to 3-1 just 2:09 later with his fifth goal of the season. Dallas coach Dave Tippett pulled goalie Marty Turco 20 seconds later and replaced him with Mike Smith, who finished with six saves. It was another subpar performance for Turco, who allowed three goals in the third period of Monday’s 4-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks.
But the Stars came out blazing in the third period. Philippe Boucher scored the first of three answered tallies and made it 3-2 with his first goal of the season less than a minute into the period. With the Stars playing shorthanded, Zubov stole the puck, skated into the Chicago zone and fired a shot that hit teammate Niklas Hagman and went into the net at 5:14 to tie the game.
Zubov put Dallas in front midway through the period on a two-man advantage, with Modano originally getting an assist. But Ribeiro was the only one who touched the puck prior to Zubov, as he backhanded a pass in the slot for the veteran defenseman, who fired a wrist shot past Nikolai Khabibulin to give the Stars a 4-3 lead.
“I don’t know what happened,” Ribeiro said of the assist that wasn’t. “I’m just excited to be on the same team as ‘Mo’ and be part of that. I’m sure it won’t take that long.”
It didn’t take long for the Stars to cough up another lead, either. The game basically turned into the Jason Williams Show, as the Blackhawks’ forward tied the game at 12:49.
With regulation time winding down, Williams then took a long pass from Wisniewski and fired a wrist shot from the right circle past Smith for his sixth goal of the season. It capped a wild third period that featured five goals, not to mention some history that was later stricken from the books.
"This time we found a way to win," Williams said. "We gave up a couple, then took the momentum back. We're making it hard on ourselves."
Between the scoring mistake and the 5-5-2 record the Stars posted in October, Modano is more than willing to put the month behind him.
“It’s unfortunate,” Modano said of the record that wasn’t. “It’s on the list of things that have happened lately that are surrounded by me. It kind of caps off the whole month. I’m glad it’s over tomorrow.”
That being said, Modano remains excited that he should shortly become America’s new all-time scoring leader. Dallas will play at home again on Friday against the Phoenix Coyotes before starting a four-game road trip at Anaheim on Monday.
“The buildup’s been fun,” Modano said. “It’s been exciting. Hopefully, we can put a good game together Friday. But you can sense it. It’s building. It’d be nice to get it over with Friday, that’s for sure, and not go on the road with it lingering.”
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.