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Modano leads Stars to 3-2 SO win over Ducks

by John Kreiser / NHL.com

If this was, indeed, Mike Modano's farewell to Dallas hockey fans, he certainly gave them something to remember him by.

Modano tied the game on a deflection with 1:47 left in regulation, then scored the deciding goal in the second round of the shootout as the Stars beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Thursday night in what was quite possibly his final home game.

"It was tough to leave the ice (at the end of the game), not knowing what the future holds, whether that was it or it wasn't," Modano said. "I didn't really have an idea what to expect, but it was a nice way to possibly end it, how it unfolded. The fans were fantastic."

Bobby Ryan scored twice for Anaheim, including a power-play goal that gave the Ducks a 2-1 edge at 15:16 of the third period. But Modano deflected Trevor Daley's shot out of the air and past goalie Jonas Hiller with 1:47 left in regulation to tie it at 2-2. The goal stood after officials ruled that Modano's stick was below crossbar level.

"Maybe (the referees) threw me a farewell bone there," Modano said with a laugh.

It was the 557th regular-season goal and 1,359th point of Modano's career -- both are NHL records for a U,S.-born player. He also set up Jamie Benn's second-period goal for his 802nd career assist.

In the shootout, Modano was credited with the game-deciding goal when he beat Hiller with a wrist shot. Longtime teammate Jere Lehtinen clinched the win in the third round when he fired a puck between Hiller's pads.

Modano, who turns 40 in June, has not said he will retire but has admitted that he will seriously consider it after the season. He figures to be in uniform for the Stars' season finale on Saturday at Minnesota -- where he began his career with the Minnesota North Stars in 1989 before the franchise moved to Dallas in 1993.

Fans cheered Modano when he took the ice for warmups, displaying such signs as "1 Mo Year" and "Say It Ain't So Mo," and they roared when Modano was introduced with the starting lineup. Modano was shown on the video board with less than six minutes left in regulation. He had tears in his eyes when he received an extended standing ovation.

Even the referees applauded Modano, and the Ducks on the bench stood and tapped their sticks on the boards in recognition.

"He is the reason I chose No. 9 when I was coming up," Ryan said.. "He stymied us tonight, but if anybody deserved it, it was him."

"This was a great night for a player that played a number of years and has been the face of the franchise, not only in Minnesota but here," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said.

This game could also have marked the final home appearance for Marty Turco, who finished with 17 saves. Turco, who played his 509th game for Dallas, will be an unrestricted free agent after the season and isn't expected to be re-signed.

"If this was the last time I play here, it was one of my tougher games," Turco said.

The Stars failed to qualify for the playoffs for the second consecutive season, which hasn't happened since 1987 and 1988, and are likely to be sold in the offseason.

"There's a huge potential for change," Turco said.

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report


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