DALLAS (AP) - After going 18 games without a goal, Bill Guerin scored just in time for the Dallas Stars.
Guerin scored with less than a second remaining in the second period, finally converting a power play for the Stars in a 4-2 victory over Nashville on Monday night in their last home game until March.
``His timing was perfect,'' Dallas coach Dave Tippett said. ``Going into the third period with the lead, you should win. Especially when you score right at the buzzer. It's really deflating.''
The puck went in as the horn was sounding and the clock read 0.00. So after waiting since Dec. 29 to finally score again, Guerin had to wait a couple of more minutes while officials reviewed the goal that came on the Stars' 10th power play.
``I knew it was in,'' Guerin said.
Dallas led 2-1 when officials awarded the goal and reset the clock to 0.9 seconds.
``When you get scored against in the final minute, it's a little disheartening,'' Nashville forward Steve Sullivan said. ``It's a momentum shifter.''
The Stars were scrambling to get a late shot off when Janne Niinimaa got the puck at the point, and sent it toward the front of the net. Guerin gathered the pass just outside the post and swiped it in.
Dallas (37-15-3) matched Detroit at the top of the Western Conference with 77 points. The Stars play their next three games before the Olympic break on the road, and won't be back home until March 4 against Colorado.
Guerin, the Stars' highest-paid player at $6.7 million this season and their top goal scorer in 2003-04, threw his hands in the air when he finally converted. His third goal in 35 games, and ninth of the season, put the Stars up 2-1.
``When he plays like that, he's a dangerous player,'' said Stu Barnes, whose goal earlier in the period tied the game. ``We know what kind of scorer he is, but he's been doing a lot of other things to help the club.''
Niinimaa, who missed the previous seven games with an ankle injury, added an unassisted short-handed goal 3:25 into the third period to make it 3-1. Mike Modano scored his 18th three minutes later.
Paul Kariya had a goal and an assist for the Predators (33-16-6), who are second in the Central Division, five points behind the Red Wings. Mark Eaton, in his 54th game, scored his first goal of the season at 11:37 of the third period.
Tomas Vokoun, who had 40 saves in a shutout victory over Chicago on Saturday, stopped 36 shots against Dallas. But he also made a crucial error that led to Niinimaa's short-handed goal.
Vokoun came out to the left circle and tried to pass the puck, except Scott Hartnell wasn't expecting it and was skating toward the bench. As Vokoun tried to recover, he fell down.
``I pushed him the puck, but he just turned around and went to the bench,'' Vokoun said. ``Maybe I should have kept it.''
Niklas Hagman slapped a shot toward the open net, but defenseman Marek Zidlicky made a sliding save to deflect the puck. Niinimaa then got the rebound near the same area where Vokoun had been, and knocked it in.
Marty Turco stopped 17 shots for Dallas.
Dallas got even at 1-all on Barnes' 12th goal at 12:26 of the second period, after Mathias Tjarnqvist made a pass from behind the net.
Kariya scored the game's first goal 5:04 in when he flicked a shot into the front corner of the net. The play was reviewed before Kariya was awarded his 18th goal.
Dallas appeared to tie the game less than two minutes later, but officials had whistled the puck dead for a high-sticking call against Tjarnqvist before he slipped the puck past Vokoun.
Notes: There were 22 penalties. The Stars were 1-of-11 on power plays, and Nashville 0-for-7. ... Nashville hadn't allowed a power-play goal the previous three games, stopping 19 chances in those games and nine more against the Stars before Guerin's goal. ... Vokoun has faced 126 shots the last three games. ... The Predators play back-to-back games against Detroit on Wednesday and Thursday.