1/24/97 -- 1:51 AM

Canucks-Blues


ST. LOUIS (AP) - There's no mystery to Brett Hull's increased output lately: It's the players alongside him.

Hull scored two goals and got the game-winner with 1:14 to play in the St. Louis Blues' 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.

He has 11 goals in his last 13 games, and the line of Hull, Pierre Turgeon (six goals) and Geoff Courtnall (three) has 20 goals in that span.

``It's a line, it's not a revolving door,'' Hull said. ``We talk and talk.''

Mike Keenan acquired Turgeon from Montreal on Oct. 29 to play with Hull, but never stuck with the combination for long. Turgeon found this on-again, off-again business frustrating.

``You come back on the bench and you talk about the play, and the next shift you go out with another guy, so you just talked for nothing,'' Turgeon said.

That changed after Keenan was fired Dec. 19.

``It's kind of nice to have the same line all the time,'' Turgeon said. ``We don't switch too often, so we get used to each other on the ice.''

Hull had seven shots and got his 22nd and 23rd goals for the Blues, who are 4-2 under new coach Joel Quenneville. Turgeon had two assists and set up the game-winner. Courtnall also assisted on the game-winner and had two assists.

The Blues showed they come a long way since the final days of the Keenan regime. On Dec. 15, four days before Keenan was fired, St. Louis was handed its worst home loss in 20 years when the Canucks whipped them 8-0.

``We're a totally different team right now,'' Hull said. ``It's pretty easy when you enjoy playing for a guy and are explained the way things are supposed to be and how he wants you to do it.''

Jamie Rivers tied it with his first career goal with 4:44 to play, making up for a mistake that allowed the Canucks to take the lead, and Joe Murphy had a goal and an assist for the Blues. St. Louis outshot Vancouver 34-15.

On the tying goal, Murphy carried the puck from end to end before sliding a backhand pass to Rivers, a defenseman who scored on a slap shot just inside the right post. Hull had two shots in the winning sequence, and beat Kirk McLean with a quick shot between the pads.

The loss was the first in four games for Vancouver (2-1-1).

The Canucks took a 3-2 lead on third-period goals by Pavel Bure and Dave Roberts in a span of 24 seconds, livening up what had been a quiet night for the visitors.

``We capitalized on the chances we had, but we didn't create enough of them,'' coach Tom Renney said. ``We have a tendency as a team to not shoot enough. We overlook opportunities to shoot.''

The Canucks had only 12 shots before Bure beat Grant Fuhr for the Russian star's 200th career goal, and 20th this season, at 7:38 to tie it 3-3. Forechecking created a loose puck on the Canucks' next trip down the ice and Roberts, Bure's linemate, banged the puck into an empty left side at 8:02.

Martin Gelinas set up both goals for the Canucks. But after the flurry, Vancouver had only one more shot.

Turgeon said the Blues weren't worried about falling behind.

``There's a difference with Joel behind the bench,'' he said. ``Even though we were losing, he was positive and he wanted to make sure we had a chance to come back. It's good to have that feeling.''

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