Game of the night - Modano returns to Dallas

Detroit Red Wings (2-0-1) at Dallas Stars (2-0-0), American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

"I think the possibility to win is something that you're always chasing after when you're older. If there wasn't a chance to win, I probably would have retired." - Livonia, Mich. native Mike Modano after joining Detroit in August.

Looks weird, right?

For 20 years, all Mike Modano has ever worn for the most part was green, black and white. The only number he ever knew was 9.

So, when Dallas parted ways with the face of their franchise, and Modano signed with Derotit in the off-season, the thought of him wearing the Winged Wheel brought other images to mind ...

Johnny Unitas with a lightning bolt instead of a hoofprint ...

Joe Namath in Rams blue and gold instead of Jets green and white ...

Willie Mays swapping a San Francisco Giants uniform for the Mets and a brief return to New York ...

The old, broken-down athlete returning to the city where he starred and served for so many years.

So, what better way to get reacquainted with his old team than trying to spoil the Stars' home opener Thursday night, just months after an emotional farewell.

"It’s going to be fun," Modano, 40, told the Montreal Gazette. "It's going to be a mix of emotions I’m sure. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to it and seeing a lot of familiar people."

As for the reception he'll get in Big D?

“You never know,” said Modano, the highest-scoring U.S.-born player in NHL history with 1,360 points. “It’ll probably be a little mixed. It’s obviously a little salt in the wound that I’m in Detroit, one of our (nemeses) for a while when we were in Dallas. I think for the most part it’ll be positive."

Modano had five shots on goal and scored in his Detroit debut, a 4-0 win over Anaheim on Oct. 8. In two games after that, he's totaled a single shot and no points.

Maybe the image of a re-energized Modano was a little premature.

Dallas opens its home schedule after impressive wins over New Jersey and the New York Islanders, and looking for a sixth straight win at the AAC over the Red Wings.

Having severed ties with Modano and Marty Turco - now with Chicago - the Stars have turned the page as they ultimately seek their first playoff berth since 2008.

“We’re a confident team, but we realize we have to be a team that can close games out too,” Brenden Morrow, the team's early leader with three goals, told the Stars' offical website. “As a whole, we feel like we are catching on, we are grasping our system. We are pretty confident with our start so far.”

The pick? Modano scores in overtime.


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