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Naslund scores in OT for Canucks

12/10/2003

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Markus Naslund gave the
Vancouver Canucks all the offense they needed.

Naslund scored his fourth goal of the game 24 seconds into
overtime to give the Canucks a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh
Penguins on Tuesday night.

"I haven't been scoring as much as I want to and the key is to
get the timely goals and the game-winners," said Naslund, back in
the lineup after missing a game Saturday against Minnesota because
of a groin injury.

Naslund ended the game with his team-leading 15th goal of the
season, beating Marc-Andre Fleury through the legs.

"I felt that I could handle the skate and I was just a little
bit sore," Naslund said. "But my skating felt good."

Todd Bertuzzi had three assists and Johan Hedberg made 14 saves
to help the Canucks break a three-game winless slide and regain a
share of the top spot in the Western Conference.

Naslund tied it at 1 by completing a pretty three-way passing
play with Todd Bertuzzi and Brendan Morrison 3:29 into the second,
then tied it again 10 minutes later on a sharp-angle power-play
shot off another feed from Bertuzzi.

Naslund completed his ninth career hat trick by breaking a 2-2
tie 7:08 into the third period, banging in a loose puck after a
wild scramble in front of Fleury.

"It's definitely good for your confidence, that's for sure and
just shows it's important to shoot the puck," Naslund said. "But
more than that it was good we came up with a win even though we
didn't play a good game."

Milan Kraft scored his second goal of the game with 7:19 left in
the third period to force overtime and give Pittsburgh its first
point through four games of a five-game road trip.

Drake Berehowsky also scored for the Penguins, who have lost six
of their last seven games.

"I can't describe as a coach how pleased I am with my guys,"
Penguins coach Ed Olczyk said. "We don't get a lot of respect. You
battle a team like that, that's a way to earn respect."

Fleury made 33 saves in his last start for the Penguins before
joining the Canadian team for the World Junior Championships.

"Hopefully it won't be like this when I'm there, the same guy
scoring four goals," Fleury said. "He's a great player and a
tough guy to stop."

Vancouver goalie Dan Cloutier injured his groin during the
morning skate, leaving Hedberg to start consecutive games for the
first time since the Canucks acquired him from Pittsburgh in an
August trade.

With Cloutier unable to back up, and their minor league teams
unable to provide a goalie in time, the Canucks dressed Canadian
university goalie Chris Levesque as a backup. For a while it looked
as through Levesque, a 23-year-old goalie from the University of
British Columbia, might also have to play.

Hedberg had his mask knocked off in a hard collision with
Konstantin Koltsov while diving for a loose puck late in the first
period and was down on the ice for several minutes while Levesque
looked on from the bench.

"A little bit of fear, a little bit scared, trying to play it
calm on the bench," Levesque said of his thoughts at the time.
"Luckily, he wasn't hurt seriously.

Hedberg, who was fortunate Kelly Buchberger shot wide at an
empty net guarded only by defenseman Sami Salo as the play
continued, kept playing despite jamming his left hand on the play.

"It wouldn't be fair to Chris either," said Hedberg, whose
wrist was noticeably swollen after the game. "He got the call an
hour before the game.

Levesque, a third-year student who was dragged out of the
library where he was studying for a Wednesday morning exam, enjoyed
his brief stint in the NHL.

"All the guys were really friendly and introduced themselves,
as if I don't know who everyone is in here anyways," he said.

Game notes
It was Naslund's second career four-goal game. His other
one came against Edmonton on Dec. 14, 2002. ... Levesque signed a
one-day amateur contract. The Canucks recalled G Alex Auld from
Manitoba of the AHL and he was expected to arrive Tuesday night.