Stars 3, Rangers 1
DALLAS (AP) _ Joe Nieuwendyk had a goal and an assist as the Dallas Stars clinched the NHL’s best record and set a franchise mark for points in a season with a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Friday night.
The Stars improved to 110 points, assuring Dallas the Presidents’ Trophy for the second straight season.
Dallas surpassed last season’s 109 points, the previous franchise record. The Stars also set a club record with their 27th home victory, beating the mark set in three different seasons, including last year.
The Presidents’ Trophy will be presented to the Stars before Sunday afternoon’s home game against the Los Angeles Kings.
Mike Keane and Dave Reid also had goals for the Stars.
The Rangers had little to play for, having been eliminated from the Eastern Conference playoff race earlier this week.
The game could have been Wayne Gretzky’s final appearance at Reunion Arena. The league’s all-time scoring leader did not figure in the scoring, but he received an ovation from the sellout crowd when he was shown on the scoreboard midway through the third period.
Gretzky has said he would wait until after the season to decide about his future in hockey.
Dallas goalie Ed Belfour was in control until Mike Knuble ended Belfour’s bid for his 46th career shutout early in the third period. Knuble’s 15th goal from a sharp angle narrowed Dallas’ lead to 3-1 with 16:46 to play.
Keane, a former Ranger, scored his fifth from the slot 15 seconds after the opening faceoff. Dallas made it 2-0 at 13:36 of the first period on Reid’s sixth, a power-play rebound.
The Stars extended their advantage to 3-0 at 2:24 of the second period when Nieuwendyk converted a centering pass from Benoit Hogue for his 25th goal. Dallas dominated the second period, outshooting the Rangers 15-4.