VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Vancouver Canucks are enjoying their newfound confidence.
The Canucks squandered a late lead when the Oilers forced overtime with Petr Sykora's goal that came with less than three minutes left in regulation.
But Vancouver, which extended its lead atop the Northwest Division to three points over Calgary and Minnesota, came back with a determined effort.
"It was one of those things where we knew that we couldn't quit, and we didn't," said Cooke, who has three goals in five games after netting just one in his first 37. "We knew they were going to come hard and they did, and unfortunately they got one late. But we knew that our chances were good in overtime and were able to stay positive on the bench."
The Canucks are an aggressive team in overtime and it has paid off as they are 7-0 in the extra session. Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa jumped into the play to force a 2-on-1 with Cooke.
Bieksa drew the defender over and then slid a pass over to Cooke for a one-timer that beat Oilers goalie Dwayne Roloson.
That confidence was missing earlier this season when the Canucks struggled to stay above .500.
"We were still pretty upbeat," forward Brendan Morrison said. "Obviously it's tough to give up a late goal like that but guys honestly felt like we were still going to win this game. We carried that feeling into overtime and thanks to a great play by Kevin, setting up Cookie, we were able to finish them off."
The Oilers were able to salvage a single point when it looked as though they'd leave empty-handed.
"We battled hard to get back into this one," coach Craig MacTavish said. "It's just one of those things. You want to be aggressive in overtime yourself, and we were, but this time we got burned by it."
Roloson complained to the officials that Markus Naslund interfered with his ability to make the save when he skated through the top of the crease. Naslund caught the end of Roloson's stick on his jersey, just as Sedin took the pass from his twin brother.
After a scoreless first period, Cooke gave Vancouver a 1-0 lead eight minutes into the middle frame when his harmless looking pass through the slot bounced off the left leg of Oilers defenseman Steve Staios and by a startled Roloson.
Edmonton outshot Vancouver 28-24.
|The puck hits the back of Dwayne Roloson's net. Matt Cooke (not shown) scores in OT. (Getty Images)|
|Vancouver (23-18-1) «||0||1||1||1||3|
|07:53||Matt Cooke (3), Slap Shot - Unassisted.|
|09:12||Fernando Pisani (9), Slap Shot - Assists: Raffi Torres, Jan Hejda|
|05:08||Daniel Sedin (16), Slap Shot - Assist: Henrik Sedin|
|17:04||Petr Sykora (16), Slap Shot - Assists: Petr Nedved, Ales Hemsky|
|01:24||Matt Cooke (4), Slap Shot - Assists: Kevin Bieksa, Ryan Kesler|
|08:28||Kesler: Hooking - 2 min.|
|04:59||Staios: Tripping - 2 min.|
|14:14||Greene: Holding - 2 min.|
|17:13||Cooke: Interference - 2 min.|
|SHOTS ON GOAL|
|Attendance - 18630|
|Referees - Dennis LaRue, Mike Leggo|
|Linesmen - Darren Gibbs, Lyle Seitz|