ST. LOUIS, FEB. 9 -- Mario Lemieux of Pittsburgh put on the greatest scoring display in 39 editions of the National Hockey League All-Star Game tonight. It may have been the most incredible show in the history of hockey.

Lemieux recorded three goals, including the winner at 1:08 of sudden-death overtime, and added three assists as the Prince of Wales Conference edged the Campbell Conference, 6-5.

"That was a scary performance by one individual," said Mike Keenan of Philadelphia, the Wales coach. "We could have been down two or three to nothing the way they came out, but we were able to collect our thoughts and after that the whole story, basically, was Mario Lemieux."

On the game-winning goal, Lemieux took a pass from Mats Naslund of Montreal, stickhandled around Chicago's Denis Savard and poked a backhander between the legs of goalie Mike Vernon for his record sixth point.

Naslund had five assists, another All-Star mark. No player in All-Star history ever had managed more than four points before.

"Mario is so good that I don't think I embarrass my teammates in Montreal when I say he's the best player I ever played with and I'd like to play with him every night," Naslund said.

Despite his performance, Lemieux said winning the Canada Cup in September, when he scored the decisive goal for Canada against the Soviets in the finale, was a bigger thrill. All three games of the final series ended the same as tonight, 6-5.

"Maybe a week from now I'll look back at this and feel differently, but I think the Canada Cup so far is the highlight of my career," said Lemieux. "Playing with {Wayne} Gretzky and {Mark} Messier, all those great leaders and winners, was a great experience.

"I got lucky a little bit tonight. I was at the right place at the right moments and Mats Naslund set me up a couple of times. It was wide open out there and when you play with great hockey players, you just go for the openings. I just tried to make plays and skate as hard as I could."

The game was billed as a sort of confrontation between Lemieux and Gretzky, the Edmonton superstar he is battling for the scoring title. Most of the time they were on the ice together, Lemieux at right wing with Naslund and Quebec's Peter Stastny, Gretzky centering Edmonton teammates Messier and Jari Kurri.

Gretzky struck first, his ninth goal in eight All-Star Games, giving the Campbells a 2-1 lead after one period.

Washington's Mike Gartner tied it on a feed from Lemieux, then the Wales jumped ahead, as Stastny converted another Lemieux feed. Lemieux himself greeted the Campbells' relief goalie, Mike Vernon of Calgary, with a stuff from behind that made it 4-2.

The Campbells pulled even as Luc Robitaille of Los Angeles, a three-point man in defeat, scored one goal and set up Savard for another.

Lemieux converted a Naslund setup for a 5-4 lead, but Robitaille knotted it with 3:32 left in regulation time on a feed from Edmonton's Glenn Anderson.

To that point, there had been virtually no checking, but with the game on the line, both teams began fighting for possession.

"When it was 5-5, everybody suddenly said, 'There's a hockey game on the line here,' " Gartner said. "Fortunately, we had Mario. He's just unbelievable. I played with him in the Canada Cup and I know what he's capable of doing.

"He does so much with the puck. Give him the puck and you know something's going to happen, he's such a dangerous player."

Lemieux's winning goal was a remarkable example of stickhandling, as he maintained control through traffic and, with a mere wrist flick, backhanded it past Vernon.

"He has such a long reach and he didn't move his arms, just his wrists," said the losing coach, Glen Sather of Edmonton. "He's a great talent. He made it look so easy.

"You could have checked Mario with six guys tonight and put a tent around him and he'd have found ways to score."

Until tonight, Gretzky was the only player with more than a goal a game in all-star play. Lemieux now has five in three appearances.

Asked about the unavoidable comparison with Gretzky, Lemieux said, "I got the lucky bounces tonight. Wayne could have had four goals. He hit a post and Patrick Roy made a great save to stop him. Wayne played very well."

The pregame ceremony was an emotional one, as an all-star sweater was presented to the two sons of Barclay Plager, the former captain and coach of the Blues who died Saturday. At game's end, there was a different scene -- Lemieux taking a victory ride around the ice on the tailgate of the truck he won as the game's most valuable player.

See Summary, Page D7