Dallas, TX (Sports Network) – Brad Richards netted a goal and two assists while Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves, as the Dallas Stars defeated former franchise superstar Mike Modano and the Detroit Red Wings, 4-1, at American Airlines Center.
This was the home opener for Dallas, for which Modano played his entire 20- year career and holds every one of the club’s major offensive records. Modano, who will be in the Hall of Fame when he retires and is considered one of the best American-born players to ever skate in the NHL, was the face of the Minnesota/Dallas franchise for two decades and a driving force behind hockey’s enormous growth in the Sun Belt region of the United States.
Fans gave a standing ovation to Modano, who signed as a free agent over the summer with the Red Wings, about five minutes into the game during a stoppage of play.
Loui Eriksson, Brenden Morrow and James Neal also scored for the Stars, who improved to 3-0 on the young season.
Niklas Kronwall scored the only goal for the Red Wings, who failed to earn at least one point for the first time in four games this season (2-1-1). Detroit will travel to Phoenix to play the Coyotes on Saturday before the club returns home for a four-game homestand to close the season’s opening month.
Chris Osgood allowed four goals on 15 shots in the losing effort.
It took only 41 seconds for the Stars to officially welcome Modano and the Red Wings into town. Richards’ second goal of the season came on the power play after Brad Stuart was whistled for boarding 28 seconds into the game. Moments into the power play, Matt Niskanen held control along the right side and passed along the blue line to Richards, whose shot from near the centerpoint made its way through traffic and into the net.
The start of the second period was nearly a mirror image of the first, as this time Dallas scored 44 seconds into the stanza. Richards held control behind the net and fed a quick pass to Eriksson, who lit the lamp with a one-timer snap shot from the bottom of the inner right circle.
At the 7:03 mark of the second, the Stars made it 3-0. Morrow attempted a pass from the left circle to the far post, but the puck deflected off the skate of Detroit’s Stuart and slid into the net. It was Morrow’s fourth goal.
The onslaught continued later in the middle session when Neal scored his first goal of 2010-11. During a strong shift in their offensive zone, the Stars peppered Osgood with several unsuccessful attempts. However, the Wings were unable to clear the zone and the puck kicked loose in the low slot, where Neal gained control and beat Osgood with a backhander at 16:26.
Mike Ribeiro posted two assists for Dallas…The Stars will host the St. Louis Blues on Saturday…Lehtonen made 11 saves in the third period…The Stars were 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Red Wings ended 1-for-5 with the extra skater.