On Saturday night, Modano had back spasms and wasn't sure he was going to face the Edmonton Oilers. That was until his father offered some advice: "Dad gave me a little (encouragement) not to sit this one out ... He humbles you pretty quick," Modano told the Dallas Morning News. Credit Papa Modano with some sound advice: His son's ninth goal of the season, on the power play, gave the Stars a desperately needed win, 4-3, over the Oil last night. Modano took a perfect feed from Brad Richards in back of the Edmonton Oilers net, snapping a shot past Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers at 17:39 of the third.
Only the heroics of fellow U.S.-born star Modano could keep Tkachuk out of the top spot. His power-play goal in the second period gave the veteran forward 1,000 career points in the NHL. Tkachuk became the sixth U.S. player to pass that milestone. The Blues' power play struck again in the third, as Brad Boyes scored his 12th in the 4-2 Blues' win over the Atlanta Thrashers. We celebrate Tkachuk's achievement with a Puck Daddy-mandated moratorium on fat jokes.
Jean-Sebastian Giguere may be looking over his shoulder a bit this season. Hiller improved to 5-0-0 with a 1.35 goals-against average in his last six starts, after a 36-save performance in a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. That included a brilliant 17-save effort in the second period. How good was Hiller? NHL.com claims he had 1.028 save percentage last night -- that good. (H/T to Puck Daddy reader Scott for the image.)
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Honorable Mention: Rob Niedermayer had two goals and Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and two helpers in the Ducks' win. ... Craig Anderson made a surprise start, but it paid off for Florida Panthers Coach Peter DeBoer: his goalie made 37 saves in a 4-0 shutout over the New York Rangers. He earned another start against the Washington Capitals this Tuesday. ... Ondrej Pavelec made 43 saves on 46 shots for Atlanta.
Dishonorable Mention: Henrik Lundqvist was yanked after the Panthers' third goal, but Rangers Coach Tom Renney wasn't ready to pin the loss on him. ... Thrashers Coach John Anderson threatened to shake up the roster after the loss to the Blues. Defenseman Mathieu Schneider left the game with an "upper body injury." ... Cam Ward left after the first period with what the team called a lower-body injury; Michael Leighton stopped 11 of 14 in relief. ... Finally, Anthony Stewart handled Aaron Voros in a fight; the best shot the Rangers' forward got in was aimed at the linesman's kidney (30 seconds in).