Jason Robertson Breaks Mike Modano's Record, Stars Beat Coyotes 5-2

Dallas is now back within striking distance of Minnesota for the Central Division lead.

Jason Robertson Breaks Mike Modano's Record, Stars Beat Coyotes 5-2
Credit: Tim Heitman / Dallas Stars

In our first feature for the new site earlier today, I wrote the following about Jason Robertson and Mike Modano's record for most points in a Dallas Stars season:

Tonight, Jason Robertson has a chance to break Modano’s record if he scores at least 3 points against the Arizona Coyotes. Like Modano was in 1994, he is only 23 years old. Like Modano, he won’t require a full season to do so, tonight being his 75th.

Sure enough, Robertson delivered – he scored four points against the Arizona Coyotes, his third point being his 42nd goal of the season. It was also the 100th goal of his three-year career, as well as serving as the game-winner, as the Stars ended up winning 5-2.

After a disappointing first period that saw Dallas head to the locker room down 2-1, the Stars dominated the Coyotes in the final 40 minutes, holding them to just 8 shots on net. On the offensive side, the Stars' top point producers all took care of business – Robertson, Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski, and Roope Hintz each scored, and Miro Heiskanen recorded three assists.

If there was any real criticism beyond the first period, it's that the Stars went only 1-5 on the power play against one of the league's weakest penalty killing units. That included a double minor from a hi-stick against Hintz in the third, which cut his night short. But in the end, a win is a win, and Dallas is now just one point back on the Minnesota Wild for the division lead.

That sets the stage for tomorrow's (well, technically today's) matchup against the Colorado Avalanche. Should the Stars win, they might overtake the Wild, depending on how they fare against the Vegas Golden Knights. But if they lose, they'll be overtaken by Colorado and fall to third.

It's a big game – let's see if the Stars can get it done. Puck drops at 8:00 PM CT.

First Period:

Dallas wasted no time getting on the scoreboard – less than a minute and a half into the game, Joe Pavelski proved once again that he is the NHL's best tipper, masterfully redirecting the puck into the Arizona net in one fluid motion... with his butt:

Unfortunately for Dallas, their lead wouldn't last for long – four minutes later, Joel Kiviranta was sent to the penalty box for boarding ex-Star Brett Ritchie. It took only 10 seconds for the Coyotes to capitalize, as a net-front screen let Jusso Valimaki blast one past Jake Oettinger from the point.

The two teams proceeded to trade quality scoring chances back and forth, with one of the best coming from Roope Hintz off the rush. But it would be Arizona who would eventually break through again, as Joel Hanley – and Ryan Suter less so –  committed a terrible turnover in the Stars' own zone. A few seconds later, Connor  Mackey scored his first goal as a Coyote.

With less than two minutes to go in the first, Dallas went on their first power play of the evening as Ritchie got called for cross-checking. But in taking their time to find the best scoring opportunity, the Stars managed only a single shot on net before the buzzer sounded, sending them into the locker room down by one.

Score: Dallas  1, Arizona 2
Shots: Dallas 8, Arizona 9

Second Period:

The Stars failed to score on the remainder of their power play, but it ultimately didn't matter. The top line remained on the ice to take the first even strength shift of the period, and Roope Hintz was able to snipe a laser of a shot past Karel Vejmelka just 53 seconds into the period:

The offense for both teams dried up a bit afterwards, but especially for Arizona – the Coyotes failed to register a single shot on net until roughly eight minutes into the middle frame. The Stars' best chance came several minutes later on a Evgenii Dadonov wraparound, but it just narrowly missed Wyatt Johnston's skate for a pinball goal.

The Coyotes' offense then began to find its form again, forcing Oettinger to make a handful of key saves. But then with three and half minutes left, Nick Schmaltz took a careless delay of game penalty, putting Dallas back on the power play.

That brought Dallas some good news and bad news. The bad news was that, once again, they were unable to score against an ineffectual penalty kill. But the good news was that, once again, it didn't end up mattering – with less than half a minute to go, Jason Robertson single-handedly willed the puck into the net for his 100th career goal:

That would be it for the period, but the fanfare didn't end there – a scoring correction for Hintz's goal gave Robertson the primary assist. As a result, Robertson's goal became his 94th point of the season, breaking the Dallas Stars' record for most points in a single season.

Score: Dallas 3, Arizona 2
Shots: Dallas 19, Arizona 13

Third Period:

The two teams traded a quality scoring chance each for the first few minutes of the final frame, after which Max Domi drew a tripping call by Josh Brown. This time, the Stars would finally convert, scoring faster than Arizona's power play unit – they took only eight seconds – as Jamie Benn expertly tipped a Robertson shot past Vejmelka:

Sadly, that Arizona power play took the ice only a few minutes later, as Johnston took his own delay-of-game penalty. But thankfully the Stars were able to kill it off with relative ease, which led to a 3-on-2 opportunity the other way as Johnston came out of the box. In the sequence that followed, Victor Soderstrom clipped Hintz in the face with his stick and drew blood, earning himself a double minor.

The second unit almost found twine during both times they were on the ice – including a total fan by Collin Miller with a wide open net – but the Stars failed to extend their lead with the double power play. The Coyotes would then pull their goalie for the final few minutes, getting a couple good looks on Oettinger. But after a couple of icings, the Stars were finally able to jailbreak Domi for the empty netter, securing the win.

Final Score: Dallas 5, Arizona 2
Final Shots: Dallas 31, Arizona 17

Two men laugh as one breaks a vinyl record