The Minnesota North Stars won their game for new coach Andre Beaulieu Tuesday night, and although it was only their sixth victory in their first 21 games of the season, they find themselves close to the top of their division.

Minnesota beat Atlanta, 43, bouncing back from a 2-0 deficit in the first period with three goals in the second and one in the third. It was the first loss for Atlanta against a Smythe Division team this season.

"That would have to go down as one of my personal highs," said the new coach, whose team played to a 4-4 tie against Colorado Saturday, Beaulieu's first game behind the beach after taking over for Ted Harris Thursday.

Each member of the "Swedish Connection" line - Roland Eriksson, Kent-Erik Anderson and per-Olay Braser - contributed a goal in the second period and Beulieu is pleased with their progress.

"I feel they're getting adjusted to our style of hockey," he said. "They seldom get hit. They avoid good checks with their quickness and anticipation."

The North Stars are fortunate they are a member of the Smythe Division, the worst in the NIL, where even the first-place club, Chicago, has a losing record. Minnesota, in fourth place with 15 points, is only five points behind the Black Hawks, one point behind the third-place Rockies and is tied with Chicago.Vancouver and Colorado in the victory column.