DALLAS (AP) -- With Mike Modano out of the game with a concussion, Joe Nieuwendyk reached a milestone and delivered a victory for the Dallas Stars.
Nieuwendyk had two goals and an assist, becoming the 73rd NHL player to reach 900 career points, as the Stars beat the expansion Minnesota Wild 6-2. The Wild had won the first two games against the team they replaced in Minnesota.
"I didn't think that they changed their game, but we were a lot hungrier and got some good looks at the net," Nieuwendyk said. "We went after them hard. We're getting contributions from a lot of people right now."
The Wild, whose first NHL season comes eight years after the Stars moved south from Minnesota, beat Dallas 6-0 and 2-1 in the first two meetings.
Brenden Morrow, who assisted on Nieuwendyk's first goal, put Dallas ahead to stay when his power-play goal with 1:27 left in the second period made it 3-2. He scored his 13th goal of the season when he pushed in a puck that bounced off Jaime Langenbrunner after Darryl Sydor's slap shot.
"We put a lot of emotion into it, we played with an edge," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. "To get six goals and be able to spread it around, that feels good. As the game went on, we got more feisty."
Less than a minute after Minnesota went ahead 2-1 on Sylvain Blouin's unassisted goal at 7:17 of the second period, Nieuwendyk and Brett Hull set up the game-tying goal by Jere Lehtinen.
Nieuwendyk scored 7:31 into the third after he got control of a pass from Kirk Muller, that was deflected by John MacLean, to make it 4-2.
Nieuwendyk has 23 goals and 21 assists this season, his sixth in Dallas. In 1,195 games over 15 NHL seasons, he has 463 goals and 438 assists.
"They came out harder. Beating a team like that two times, they're going to be ready to go," Minnesota captain Brad Bombardir said.
Modano, one of three Dallas players who also played for the Stars franchise in Minnesota, was injured when he was tackled by Antti Laaksonen about eight minutes in. The Stars said the concussion was "very mild" and that Modano's status was day to day. The center will be evaluated again Thursday.
Hitchcock said Modano was feeling fine after the game.
"We think he'll be ready Friday for the Boston game," Hitchcock said. "(Modano's) left arm and shoulder slammed into his face. That did all of the damage."
The initial Dallas lead came on Nieuwendyk's rebound goal 2:33 in. Grant Marshall's back-hander was stopped and Morrow got a stick on the puck before Nieuwendyk slapped it past Manny Fernandez for a 1-0 lead.
Dallas goalie Eddie Belfour stopped 24 of 26 shots and is 6-1-1 in his last eight starts.
Fernandez, Belfour's backup in Dallas last season, stopped 52 of 53 shots against his former team the first two games. He gave up six goals in 32 shots this time.
"They definitely played smarter," Fernandez said. "If I'm going to give up that many to anybody, I don't want it to be Dallas. But you just have to turn the page."
The Stars added two more goals late in the third, on Benoit Hogue's wrist shot from the slot and MacLean's power-play goal.
Minnesota had tied the game at 1 on a power play goal from Lubomir Skeras 11 minutes after Nieuwendyk's first goal.
Notes: Marshall, with an assist on the first goal, earned his first point in the six games since sustaining a concussion Feb. 1. San Jose's Owen Nolan is serving an 11-game suspension for the hit on Marshall. ... Minnesota is 6-4-1 its last 11 games. ... Muller returned after missing 24 games with a bruised chest. ... Minnesota will play host to the Stars on March 19, the next time the teams meet in the budding rivalry. The Wild beat the Stars there 6-0 in November.
Minnesota 1 1 0 -- 2
Dallas 1 2 3 -- 6
First Period--1, Dallas, Nieuwendyk 22 (Morrow, Marshall), 2:33. 2, Minnesota, Sekeras 9 (Gavey, Simicek), 13:24 (pp). Penalties--Laaksonen, Min (holding), 7:40; Muller, Dal, double minor (high-sticking), 10:29; Helenius, Dal, major (fighting), 15:46; Gaborik, Min (tripping), 15:46; Blouin, Min, major (fighting), 15:46.
Second Period--3, Minnesota, Blouin 2, 7:17. 4, Dallas, Lehtinen 17 (Hull, Nieuwendyk), 8:22. 5, Dallas, Morrow 13 (Langenbrunner, Sydor), 18:33 (pp). Penalties--Lukowich, Dal (holding stick), 1:24; Johnson, Min (high-sticking), 9:52; Lyashenko, Dal (hooking), 14:20; Bombardir, Min (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:53.
Third Period--6, Dallas, Nieuwendyk 23 (Muller, MacLean), 7:31. 7, Dallas, Hogue 3 (Keane), 8:35. 8, Dallas, MacLean 2 (Zubov, Sydor), 19:03 (pp). Penalties--Nieuwendyk, Dal (cross-checking), 1:15; Simicek, Min (slashing), 2:21; Keane, Dal (slashing), 2:21; Morrow, Dal, major (fighting), 10:17; O'Donnell, Min, major (fighting), 10:17; Lyashenko, Dal (slashing), 15:00; Johnson, Min (high-sticking), 17:53.
Shots on goal--Minnesota 7-12-7--26. Dallas 9-10-13--32.
Power-play Opportunities--Minnesota 1 of 6; Dallas 2 of 5.
Goalies--Minnesota, Fernandez 18-14-2 (32 shots-26 saves). Dallas, Belfour 25-16-5 (26-24).
Referees--Bernard DeGrace, Brad Watson. Linesmen--Mike Cvik, Brian Mach.
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