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Mess Puts Canucks Past Tampa

Mark Messier continued his climb up the career goal-scoring list and also lifted the Vancouver Canucks to an overtime victory.

Messier scored 43 seconds into the extra period to give Canucks a 6-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday.

"I guess it really doesn't matter how you win, but we had complete control of the game for a while and let them back in," Messier said. "It ended up being a dogfight to the end."

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  • Messier redirected a pass from Markus Naslund for his 612th career goal, one shy of tying Mario Lemieux for sixth place on the all-time list.

    "Those things are starting to pile up now with the amount of time I've played," Messier said. "I never really thought about myself as a real pure goal scorer or point getter, but I've around enough now where they're starting to pile up."

    The Lightning overcame a three-goal deficit to force overtime on Stephane Richer's goal with 1:13 left in regulation. Richer scored his fourth goal in the past three games with a shot from the left point after Chris Gratton beat Messier on a faceoff.

    Alexander Mogilny had a goal and three assists for Vancouver.

    Gratton and Sergey Gusev scored third-period goals for Tampa Bay.

    Mogilny tied the game at 1-all in the first period with his fourth goal of the season. He added two assists during a three-goal second period.

    Donald Brashear, Todd Bertuzzi and Peter Schaefer had the second-period goals for the Canucks. Greg Hawgood added a goal in the third period for his 200th career point.

    Bill Houlder and Darcy Tucker also scored for Tampa Bay.

    "I think tonight was as close to a good solid 60-minute effort that we've had all year," Houlder said. "I believe we just ran into a really hot goaltender."

    Vancouver's Kevin Weekes was outstanding during the first two periods as the Lightning fell behind 4-2 despite dominating the play. The goalie stopped point-blank chances by Vincent Lecavalier, Tucker, Fredrik Modin and Ben Clymer.

    Weekes also stopped Gratton's shot from the slot seconds before Messier's game-winning goal.

    "It's definitely a big victory for us," said Weekes, who is filling in for an injured Garth Snow. "For whatever reason, we didn't have our best third period. The main thing is we got the two points."

    Lecavalier picked up an assist, giving him five points over the past three games.

    Vancouver's Steve Kariya had three assists. Brashear snapped an 18-game goal-scoring drought dating back to last March 20.

    Messier was also robbed twice by Daren Puppa, who was pulled after two periods. The goal by Mogilny deflected off Puppa's glove and Bertuzzi scored from a tough angle along the goal line.

    "Not one of my better ones, but I'm proud the guys came back like that and play the way they did," Puppa said.

    The Canucks will be without two players for Wednesday's game at Florida. Bertuzzi left Tuesday's game with a concussion and Andrew Cassels sprained his thumb.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.Mess

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