Steve Yzerman isn't counting down the goals to 600 for his career. He's two short, but the Detroit Red Wings captain doesn't get excited about much that happens in November.
Yzerman scored twice, the second a short-handed tally early in the third period, as the Red Wings beat the Dallas Stars 4-2 on Wednesday night.
"It's something that's going to happen in one week or two weeks from now or whenever," said Yzerman of his pursuit of 600 career goals. "It's not that important. It'll be a nice thing to happen, but it's in the regular season so you don't get that excited about it."
"The last few years, it's been a tough series with Dallas," said Detroit center Igor Larionov. "They won it last year and it's always a big challenge to play them. Tonight they made a couple of mistakes that we took advantage of and that was the story of the game."
With the Stars trying to tie the game on a third-period power play, Yzerman picked up a loose puck on a turnover by Dallas defenseman Darryl Sydor, skated in alone and beat goalie Manny Fernandez with his sixth goal of the season at 4:18 to make it 3-1. Yzerman has five goals in his last five games.
"We've got a power play to start the third period, it's a good opportunity to get back in the game," said Stars center Mike Modano. "But a mistake ends up in thback of the net and now we have to play catch-up."
Yzerman notched his first goal of the night in the first period to give the Red Wings a 2-0 advantage.
Larionov extended Detroit's lead to 4-1 at 12:52 with a goal off a faceoff, but Dallas' Joe Nieuwendyk scored his second of the season for Dallas 18 seconds later.
The Red Wings had newly-signed right wing Pat Verbeek in the lineup. Verbeek, who lives in Dallas and was working out with a minor league team in Fort Worth, signed to a two-year contract earlier Wednesday after helping the Stars win the Stanley Cup last season.
Dallas declined to re-sign Verbeek after he became an unrestricted free agent over the summer.
Verbeek said it was strange being in the locker room with Detroit players he'd battled against in his three seasons with the Stars.
"You learn to hate those guys, and now you have to be best buddies and pals with guys you used to hate," said Verbeek. "It's a unique situation."
The defending Stanley Cup champion Stars fell to 8-8-1. Dallas did not lose its eighth game last season until Jan. 18.
"It's frustrating to know you're a lot better team than you're performing right now," Modano said. "It's definitely uncharted waters. But we've been consistent over the last several years and we don't want to throw it all away in one year."
Defenseman Mathieu Dandenault got his first goal of the season 1:49 after the opening faceoff to give Detroit a 1-0 lead.
Yzerman converted a two-on-one with Kris Draper to make it 2-0 at 14:18 of the first period.
The Stars got the only goal of the second period from defenseman Brad Lukowich, who notched his first of the season at 15:14 by converting Nieuwendyk's centering pass.
Fernandez replaced starter Ed Belfour at the start of the third period after Belfour was forced to leave with a sore groin.
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