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Hull Of A Game, Blues Over Stars

ST. LOUIS - Brett Hull is known as a scorer rather than a playmaker.

But he had four assists Saturday to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 6-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

"I'm a goalscorer who can pass a little," said Hull, who was playing only his second game after missing 13 games with a broken wrist.

"I'll do anything to help us win. This was a game where we did everything right against a great Dallas team. They're the best team in the league right now."

Hull said he couldn't remember having four assists in a game.

"I don't know, I don't think so," he said.

Blues coach Joel Quenneville said Hull's playmaking was not really a surprise.

"We saw him set up a lot of plays today, but he's always been a good playmaker," Quenneville said. "He's not only a shooter, he can make direct passes when he gets the opportunity."

The Blues are 2-0 since Hull returned Thursday after going 4-7-2 during his injury.

The Stars' Mike Modano said the Blues played the kind of game that Dallas was trying to avoid.

The Blues took a 3-0 lead in the first five minutes of the game and were ahead 3-1 after the first period.

"We didn't want to get in a run-and-gun game with these guys," Modano said. "Hull showed why he's so valuable everybody thinks he's going to shoot and then he makes a perfect pass."

Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said the Blues got off to a fast start and never let up.

"We were outworked the whole game, especially the first five minutes," he said. "We just got drilled by a team we expect to meet in the playoffs."

The Blues led 5-3 after two periods as they beat Dallas for the third time in four games this season.

Steve Duchesne, Pavol Demitra and Al MacInnis scored in the first period to put the Blues in front to stay.

Duchesne scored at 58 seconds after taking a pass from Hull, who had picked up a loose puck behind the Stars' goal. Demitra made it 2-0 at 2:04 on a shot from just in front of the goal to beat Ed Belfour. MacInnis gave the Blues a 3-0 lead when he scored his 14th at 4:50 after taking a cross-ice pass from Hull.

Grant Marshall scored for Dallas at 19:27 when he picked up a loose puck in the Blues' zone and beat Grant Fuhr with a high shot.

Darren Turcotte and Craig Conroy scored second-period goals for the Blues. Shawn Chambers and Joe Nieuwendyk scored for Dallas, Chambers on a power play.

Conroy scored his second goal at 17:22 of the third period.

Conroy, who also had two assists, scored his second goal of the game at 17:22 of the third period to make the score 6-3.

The Blues are 2-5-2 in their last nine games. The Blues have won two straight after being winless in their previous seven games.

Dallas lost its second straight game for only the second time this season and is 5-2 in its last seven.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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