Cooke scores in overtime to give Canucks their sixth straight win

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Cooke's goal of at 1:24 of overtime gave Vancouver a 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday, and extended the Canucks' winning streak to six games.

It was the second goal of the game for Cooke, who has struggled to score this season and had only two goals entering Friday's game. He ended a 26-game goal drought Dec. 27th against Calgary.

"Matt's worked extremely hard from day one, and for some reason things weren't going his way," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "But he stuck to the process and tonight he got rewarded. He competes really hard, and hopefully it's the start of more offensive production from him."

Daniel Sedin scored the other Vancouver goal as the Canucks improved to 23-18-1.

Fernando Pisani and Petr Sykora replied for the Oilers, who fell to 19-19-3.

Cooke's fourth goal of the season came after he and defenceman Kevin Bieksa rushed up the ice on a two-on-none.

"Kevin made a great, patient play, and I was wide open and he made a great pass," said Cooke.

After taking the puck from Ales Hemsky in the Canucks zone, Bieksa retrieved the puck and carried it up the ice while Cooke skated beside him. Once over the Canucks blue-line, Bieksa stopped suddenly and fed the puck to Cooke, who scored into a gaping net past Edmonton goaltender Dwayne Roloson.

"It was a broken play," said Oilers captain Ryan Smyth, adding the two-on-none was "unacceptable."

The Oilers suffered their second loss in two nights and eighth setback in their last 10 games, despite edging the Canucks 28-24 in shots.

"You have to make your breaks in this league, but just the mental errors. We're beating ourselves," said Smyth. "We've talked about that for the last little while. We can play hockey. We have a good

team here and we're capable of winning. It's just a matter of executing properly."

Both teams were playing their third game in four nights and looked tired. Only four penalties were called the entire game and all goals were scored at even strength.

Cooke gave the Canucks a 1-0 lead at 7:53 of the second period as his pass intended for Ryan Kesler went into the net off Edmonton defenceman Steve Staios.

Pisani drew the visitors even at 1-1 less than two minutes later. Rookie defenceman Jan Hejda's dump-in from outside the Vancouver blue-line caromed off the end boards right to Raffi Torres, who outskated a few Canucks and delivered a deft one-touch pass to Pisani. He beat Luongo with a high wrist shot from the slot.

"Right now, we're happy with the roll we're on and we just want to keep it going," said Luongo.

Daniel Sedin put the Canucks ahead 2-1 at 5:08 of the third period as he wristed home a nifty backhand pass from twin brother Henrik.

But Sykora tied the game 2-2 with 2:56 remaining in regulation time as he put in Petr Nedved's rebound.

"I think we played pretty well," said Nedved, who was playing his second game with the Oilers after being claimed off waivers earlier this week from the Philadelphia Flyers.

Nedved, in his second stint with the Oilers, delivered a much more inspired effort after a lacklustre showing in a shootout loss Dallas on Thursday.

"I think we played pretty hard back-to-back games," said Nedved. "It does seem like when we make one mistake it ends up in our net."

On this night, Cooke was the one who capitalized on the error.

Notes: Vancouver left winger Jeff Cowan suited up for his first home game since being claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings on Dec. 30. Cowan suffered a swollen eye in a fight in his

first game for the Canucks, against the Oilers in Edmonton, the same day he was acquired. . . . Vancouver defenceman Rory Fitzpatrick, who may get voted into the All-Star Game as a result of many repeat fan ballots, has not scored a goal since April 5, 2006, when he was still playing for the Buffalo Sabres. . . . The Oilers had a rare five-on-two situation in the third period, but Marty Reasoner elected to shoot wide instead of pass.


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