Mike Modano’s quest to become the NHL’s top U.S.-born goal scorer heads to Music City.
The all-time scoring leader in franchise history, Modano tallied his 501st career goal Thursday night in Dallas’ 4-2 win over Calgary. That leaves the Livonia, Mich., native one goal shy of tying Hall of Famer Joe Mullen for the most scored by an American.
Modano, who will be looking to score in his fourth straight game and tie a season-high set from Oct. 20-27, missed on a penalty shot and failed to find the back of the net in the Stars’ 1-0 win over the Predators on Nov. 22—his only appearance of the season against them. Modano has seven goals in 15 career games in Nashville.
“I’m sure he would like to get it out of the way and the sooner, the better. It’s unique and special,” Stars goaltender Marty Turco said.
Dallas has outscored the Predators 5-1 while winning both matchups this season, and 14-5 during a five-game winning streak against them.
The Stars also will have their captain back in the lineup for the first time since Dec. 26. Brenden Morrow was activated from the injured list Friday after missing 33 games with severed tendons in his left wrist.
“Brenden looks like he’ll be ready to go,” Stars coach Dave Tippett said. “We’ll see how he’s going in the game and determine how many minutes he plays from that. He’s in very good shape though.”
Morrow, who replaced Modano as captain this season, had 10 goals and 10 assists in 28 games before the injury. Dallas, though, may be without forward Ladislav Nagy, who’s day-to-day after being hit in the face with the puck in the win over the Flames.
Nagy has three goals and an assist in 13 games since being acquired last month from Phoenix.
The Predators (46-20-6), meanwhile, are trying to move back atop the Central Division after being swept in a home-and-home series by the Red Wings, losing 5-2 in Nashville on Tuesday before falling 4-2 in Detroit on Wednesday.
“I thought we did a good job against their top guys,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said.
The Predators have 98 points, one less than the league-leading Red Wings. Detroit plays at Vancouver later on Saturday night.
Injuries, though, could hamper the Predators from ending Detroit’s string of five straight division titles. Forward Martin Erat will likely miss the remainder of the regular season with a sprained right knee and joins Steve Sullivan (back), Scott Nichol (broken thumb) and Scott Hartnell (broken foot) on the injured list.
Nashville may have oft-injured center Peter Forsberg back in the lineup. Acquired from Philadelphia on Feb. 15, the two-time Stanley Cup winner has been out since March 3 with an upper-body injury, and has a goal and five assists in seven games with his new team.
Paul Kariya will try to extend his point streak at Gaylord Entertainment Center to five games. He has three goals and four assists during his run.