DALLAS (AP) - The symbolism for the Dallas Stars was almost too good to be true: Franchise scoring king Mike Modano sets up prized rookie Jussi Jokinen for the first goal of his career, then the captain shows the kid how its done by netting his 459th - short-handed, no less.
Jokinen's goal broke a second-period tie and Modano's goal on a rare two-on-none breakaway during a penalty kill helped the Stars beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 Tuesday night.
Jokinen, a 22-year-old left wing from Finland, has been among the top prospects in the Dallas organization for several years. He scored five goals in the preseason to solidify his spot on the roster. After being held without a shot the first two games, he broke that barrier in the first period. His second shot produced his first goal.
``He was very good,'' Stars coach Dave Tippett said. ``He's a guy we monitor every day and watch very closely because he's taken steps as we've gone along. As the pace of the game rises, we hope he will rise with it. Tonight was a good example of him playing a very good game on both sides of the puck. He made a lot of smart plays.''
Phoenix tied it at 1 early in the second period, but couldn't beat Dallas goaltender Marty Turco again until Paul Mara scored with 12.3 seconds left. The Coyotes needed a 6-on-4 advantage for their first power-play goal of the night - and that came shortly after they failed to score during 20 seconds with a three-man skating edge. Turco finished with 23 saves.
No wonder coach Wayne Gretzky, whose club fell to 1-3 and 0-3 on the road, was about as frustrated as he's been in this early part of his career behind the bench. The Great One is learning the hard way that the game isn't as easy for his players as it was for him.
``What's more frustrating is we won't shoot the puck from the blue line and I don't understand why,'' he said. ``We take a shot late in the game and we score a goal. You got to shoot the puck from the blue line to open that up. We just haven't done that.''
Dallas opened the game by peppering Phoenix's rookie goaltender David LeNeveu with 11 shots in the first period. LeNeveu, playing his second NHL game and first on the road, allowed only a goal by Antti Miettinen.
The Coyotes went on the attack in the second period, tying it early on Denis Gauthier's goal. But with 1:01 left in the second, LeNeveu was beaten by Jokinen, with Modano getting the only assist.
The game turned for good midway through the third period when Phoenix failed to get off a shot on a power play, then in the closing seconds of the advantage Dallas' Philippe Boucher popped the puck out to start a two-on-none chance that Modano and Brenden Morrow executed perfectly.
``It's not often you see a two-on-zero, especially off a penalty kill,'' Modano said. ``It was nice to get the first goal under my belt.''
LeNeveu stopped 20 shots. He's playing because Brian Boucher is out with a groin injury, and Curtis Joseph has a tender groin that Gretzky doesn't want to get aggravated.
``He's played great for us,'' Phoenix's Brett Hull said of LeNeveu. ``I don't think anybody thought he'd be up here at this point. But with Bouch getting hurt, he's held us in games. I think he's been fantastic.''
Hull failed to record a point, leaving him with one assist and no goals through four games. Hull is best known locally for scoring Dallas' Stanley Cup-winning goal in 1999, but he also had 97 points in 71 previous games against the Stars.
Notes: Dallas, which went 2-1 on its season-opening three-game homestand, plays its next three games on the road. ... Coyotes C Mike Ricci, who broke his nose Saturday, didn't play. Neither did D Derek Morris, who missed his third straight game with a groin injury. ... Stars' D Jon Klemm played for the first time after missing the first two games with back spasms.