Stars clinch NHL's best record

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The Dallas Stars beat the New York Rangers 3-1 Friday night to clinch NHL's best record for the second consecutive season.

The Stars improved to 110 points, assuring Dallas the Presidents' Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

"Home-ice is definitely a big deal to us, but I think there is a tendency to downplay the Presidents' Trophy because I think it kind of puts a burden on us," Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said. "Instead, I'd prefer to look at it as seven months of tremendous play. We deserve to be where we're at and it is a product of hard work night in and night out."

Mike Keane, Dave Reid and Joe Nieuwendyk scored for the Stars, who surpassed last season's 109 points, the previous franchise record.

"It's nice to get it out of the way," Nieuwendyk said. "It shows our team played hard night in and night out. I think that's what the rest of the league says about us."

Dallas is now under pressure after winning the second consecutive President's Trophy. Anything short of winning the Stanley Cup will be a disappointment for the Stars and their fans.

The Stars are headed for a first-round matchup against either Edmonton or Calgary.

"We don't want to get caught off-guard early in the playoffs," Ed Belfour said. "The team that we will be playing has been fighting for their life just about all year long and whoever we play will definitely bring an up-tempo game."

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