VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Curtis Sanford saved St. Louis for two periods, he just couldn't overcome a power play in overtime.
Daniel Sedin scored 1:09 into overtime for the Vancouver Canucks, who recovered from squandering a two-goal lead in the third period and beat the Blues 3-2 on Thursday night.
St. Louis tied it with two goals in the final seven minutes, but were short-handed after Eric Brewer received a four-minute roughing penalty for pounding agitator Matt Cooke after he tripped Sanford with 50 seconds left in regulation.
"I was just out playing the puck and he cut in tight and caught the back of my leg with his skate," said Sanford, who had many sensational saves among his 34. "I went down, and Eric has to react to that. Anybody on the ice would have. That's the way we are, we care about each other and we stick up for each other."
Sanford was doing most of the sticking up for St. Louis early, stopping 12 shots in the first period and 10 in the second. He got a break when Sami Salo hit the post 25 seconds into overtime, but had no chance on Sedin's tap-in after a perfect cross-crease pass from twin brother Henrik. The overtime goal was Daniel's fourth of the season, tying an NHL record held by five others.
"We had a lot of scoring chances," said Daniel, who had a game-high seven shots and set up Henrik for the opening goal 1:30 into the second period. "But we just have to stick with it. If you keep shooting, it's going to get in."
Trevor Linden also scored -- his first in 10 games -- midway through the third as the Canucks avoided their first three-game losing streak since before Christmas. Vancouver stayed one point ahead of Minnesota atop the Northwest Division.
Roberto Luongo made 20 saves to become the second NHL player this season -- and 20th ever -- to win 40 games.
"It's nice to get the milestone, but it's really not important at this stage of the season," Luongo said. "Every win for me is about playoff position."
After falling behind 2-0 on Linden's goal 9:35 into the third period, St. Louis got on the board when Jamal Mayers snapped a shot between Luongo's legs 2 1/2 minutes later. Petr Cajanek tied it with 3:25 left for the Blues, who have lost four of five but picked up two points by going to overtime twice.
"It doesn't help me a lot to comment on the call," Blues coach Andy Murray said of the late penalty -- the only one against St. Louis. "We have our version, and the referee has a different version. It was also Matt Cooke.
"What can I say about the call right now? I was more concerned with how our team played early in the game."
Sanford was the story as the Blues were outshot 12-2 in the first period. He made several great saves in tight off Daniel and Henrik Sedin and their new linemate, tough guy Jeff Cowan. He got a shoulder on Brendan Morrison's snap shot from the slot and made a sliding save off Markus Naslund on a 2-on-1.
It took a perfect shot from Henrik Sedin to finally solve Sanford 1:30 into the second period. Sedin spun around defenseman Matt Walker while taking a pass from Daniel at center ice, creating a 2-on-1 with Cowan. Henrik kept the puck and wired a wrist shot off the crossbar and just inside the post.
Sanford made a great glove stop on Cowan's breakaway a minute later, and again on a partial breakaway backhand shot from Cowan three minutes later.
"We don't want to be coming out of the gates like that and playing like that the first two periods," said Sanford, 5-0-2 against the Canucks the last two seasons. "I was just trying to make as many saves out there as I could and trying to keep it close. To come out that flat is not acceptable, but at the same time to battle back shows how much grit we have."
Vancouver took the only other penalty of the game late in the first period, a delay of game call after he was tossed out of a faceoff, then jumped in early. ... St. Louis (29-30-11) is 22-13-7 since Andy Murray took over as coach on Dec. 11. Murray took his team curling as a team-building exercise Tuesday. ... Blues forward Brad Boyes, acquired from Boston just before last month's trade deadline, had his five-game point streak (two goals, six assists) snapped.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Rogers Arena Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Referees: Mike Leggo, Bill McCreary Linesmen: Ryan Galloway, Darren Gibbs
Attendance: 18,630 (99.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
No scoring this period
Henrik Sedin (10)
Assists: Daniel Sedin, Brent Sopel
Trevor Linden (10)
Assists: Brendan Morrison, Matt Cooke
Jamal Mayers (8)
Assist: Radek Dvorak
Petr Cajanek (12)
Daniel Sedin (31)
(Power Play) Assists: Henrik Sedin, Mattias Ohlund