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`OVER-THE-HILL’ BROTEN HELPS NORTH STARS COOL THE FLAMES

SHARE `OVER-THE-HILL’ BROTEN HELPS NORTH STARS COOL THE FLAMES

When Neal Broten scores, it's a bonus for the Minnesota North Stars, who now use the former all-star primarily in a defensive role.

"I get heckled a little by the fans. They say I'm getting old, that I'm over the hill," he said Saturday night after his first goal of 1993 snapped a tie with 8:56 to play, lifting Minnesota to a 4-3 victory over the faltering Calgary Flames.The 33-year-old Broten last scored Dec. 31, nine games ago. He has 10 goals this season after scoring only eight in 1991-92, his worst professional campaign. The previous season, he had just 13.

Broten's winner came on a cross-ice feed from Russ Courtnall. Ex-North Star Craig Dahlquist dove to block the pass in front of the net, but Broten took the puck off Dahlquist's stick and put it past goalie Mike Vernon.

Jon Casey made 39 saves and Mike McPhee scored twice for the North Stars, who rebounded from back-to-back losses to Chicago and pulled within three points of second-place Detroit in the Norris Division.

The Flames wasted Robert Reichel's first career hat trick and fell to 0-6-1 since Jan. 5. The slump has come on the heels of an eight-game winning streak that seemingly had established Calgary as one of the NHL's top teams.

In other NHL action: Chicago beat Toronto 5-3; Vancouver topped Hartford 8-3; St. Louis beat Tampa Bay 5-3; Montreal shut out the New York Rangers 3-0; the New York Islanders beat New Jersey 5-3; Pittsburgh routed Ottawa 6-1; Philadelphia edged Boston 5-4; and Quebec beat San Jose 4-1.