TORONTO – It may have just been the last gasps of a wounded hockey club on life support, but it kept the Maple Leafs faint playoff hopes alive – barely – for another day. They hung on to win (and picked up points) for the first time in more than two weeks Tuesday night, halting a drudging eight-game losing streak with a narrow 3-2 win over Calgary at a quiet ACC. "Well, it beats losing thats for sure," Cody Franson said of the Torontos first win since Mar. 13. Masterpiece it was not. Standing nervously even with the rebuilding Flames after 40 minutes, the Leafs pulled ahead on third period goals from Dave Bolland and David Clarkson – the first for the 30-year-old Clarkson in nearly two months – before hanging on in the dying seconds of regulation. "I dont want to get too far ahead of ourselves because we didnt paint a Mona Lisa here tonight," said a relieved, but still cautious Randy Carlyle afterward. "Its been a long time. Its been too long. Its a much better feeling than what weve been able to enjoy here over the last while, thats for sure." Close and unpleasing as it may have been, it was a win no less for a club thats found all too many ways to lose amid a collapse thats all but shattered their once certain playoff entry. After their last win in mid-March – a resilient 3-2 victory in Los Angeles – the Leafs stood three points up on the Canadiens and Lightning, six ahead of the Blue Jackets and a seemingly insurmountable nine up on the physically beaten Red Wings. More than two weeks without a point destroyed that cushion and then some. Montreal and Tampa stormed far ahead for control of second and third in the Atlantic division – 93 points apiece – Toronto (82 points) trailing Columbus by a point (83) and Detroit by two (84) for the final two wild card positions in the East – both have two games in hand and more regulation/overtime wins. All of which makes their playoff hopes with five games to go razor-thin at best with an especially daunting Thursday night clash with Boston ahead – the Bruins have raced to the top of the NHL with 15 wins in the past 16 games (15-0-1). Asked before Tuesday morning if he believed his team still had a realistic opportunity to land a second straight playoff berth, Carlyle responded with whatever hope he could muster. "Its realistic if you win," he said. "Weve got to win the first one. Thats the bottom line. "We cant change whats happened. We dont like whats happened. Were not comfortable with whats happened but move on. Thats what our focus is." Carlyle said hed enjoy that first win for five, maybe 10 minutes. He knows one does little to alter the fortunes of a team clinging to the ropes and all five might not even be enough. Hope is still just hanging on for life. Five Points 1. Rare Bright Spot David Clarkson hasnt had much to celebrate in a lost first season with the Leafs, but he found a little light with a breakaway goal in the third period on Tuesday night. The goal, his fifth of the season, snapped a 16-game pointless drought and was his first since Feb. 4. "Its no secret, its been tough," he said of a season in which hes mustered just 11 points, looking lost more often than not. "Personally, Im not happy with the season. [But] I hold myself accountable. Im someone thats got to be better." "Numbers arent always everything," said Franson in defence of Clarkson afterward. "Clarkies been a guy thats gone out and worked hard every night for us. Hes tried to be very physical and create a lot on our cycles. You cant judge a guy just by numbers. I think hes brought a lot more to the table than people give him credit for." 2. Kessels Pain The stick came down on the bench, shattering into pieces at the frustrated one-hand chop of Phil Kessel. The 26-year-old had just taken another puck to the bruised right foot hes been bothered with since Saturday, storming off the ice in obvious pain and disgust. "He had the sign on his foot obviously," Carlyle said with some humour. Kessel did not practice Monday and remained off the ice ahead of the tilt with Calgary on Tuesday morning. Still searching for the first 40-goal campaign of his career, he remains stuck on 36 goals and 77 points, totaling 17 minutes and 36 seconds against the Flames – his lowest total since a Jan. 23 beatdown in Dallas. The Leafs improved to just 7-22-2 when he does not a record a point. 3. Bernier Post-Olympic Four goals had passed Jonathan Bernier in each of his previous three starts after returning from a nagging groin injury, but on Tuesday, just two of a tame 24 shots slipped by in victory. "It was nice, actually," he said of the comparatively quiet night. Stellar from October to February, Bernier actually had his worst month of the season following the Olympic break in March, compiling a .907 percentage in eight starts. It was a rare dip from a goaltender whos been ultra-consistent; Bernier posted a save percentage of at least .923 in four of the previous five months. He improved to 6-8-2 when stopping between 20-29 shots this season. 4. Distractions In hopes of distracting the mind from a playoff chance-sapping skid, Jake Gardiner opted to see a movie Monday, taking in the new Russell Crowe flick, Noah. "Its tough," he said of getting away from a losing streak that finally ended Tuesday. "You look on Twitter or TV, its pretty much what everyones talking about right now. But were kind of used to that. Weve had some ups and downs throughout the season and throughout the past, youve just got to take it in stride." 5. Distractions II Almost at the end of his rookie season in the NHL, Morgan Rielly has learned at least one tool to insulate himself from the often high-pitched noise of Toronto. "I dont check Twitter as often," Rielly said. "Its hard though because when youre out eating at Earls or something, its on TV and theres people talking about our skid, trade rumours or how weve been playing. But honestly, you cant really worry about it too much as you all know. Its just a matter of keeping concentrated on just playing the game and not what everybodys saying." Avoiding Twitter was a lesson the 20-year-old picked up in training camp, "when youre not sure if youre going to make the team or not and theres tweets about you not making the team or theres tweets about you on the team," he said. "You cant be too concerned about whats going on out there. Youve just got to worry about what youre able to control and all that is is playing hockey." Stats Pack 2-9-0 – Leafs record in the past 11 games. 17:36 – Ice-time for Phil Kessel on Tuesday, his lowest since Jan. 23. 16 – Consecutive games without a point for David Clarkson, a drought snapped Tuesday with his fifth goal of the season. 7-22-2 – Leafs record this season when Phil Kessel does not record a point. .907 – Save percentage for Jonathan Bernier in March. 17 – Games without a goal for Jay McClement, who snapped that drought Tuesday with his fourth of the season. 15:10 – Minutes for Paul Ranger, who returned to the lineup as the seventh defender against Calgary. Special Teams Capsule PP: 0-1Season: 20.3% (7th) PK: 2-2Season: 78.6% (28th) Quote of the Night "I dont want to get too far ahead of ourselves because we didnt paint a Mona Lisa here tonight." - Randy Carlyle, following a 3-2 win over the Flames. Up Next The Leafs host the Bruins at the ACC on Thursday night. Cameron Wake Youth Jersey
. Catch the game on TSN starting at 7pm et/4pm pt. Tampa Bay currently holds the last of the Atlantics three automatic bids to the playoffs, but the Maple Leafs are just one point behind. Minkah Fitzpatrick Womens Jersey
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. The 27-year-old hit .209 in 86 at-bats last year after missing the 2010 season following surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Josh Rosen Womens Jersey
. Thats what he did over the past 2 1/2 years with the Washington Wizards. Wittmans approach helped turn the Wizards from pushover to playoff winners.Milwaukee, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - C.J. Miles buried six 3-pointers for 22 points off the bench and the Indiana Pacers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 94-91 on Friday night. Roy Hibbert added 18 points and Luis Scola scored 14 for the Pacers, who have won two in a row and five of their last seven. Brandon Knight had 20 points for the Bucks, who had a two-game winning streak stopped. Zaza Pachulia contributed 12 points and 14 rebounds in the loss and John Henson scored 14 with 10 boards. The Bucks snapped a six-game losing streak in the series with an 87-81 win in Indianapolis on Nov. 4. They led by as many as seven in this one and carried a 68-66 advantage into the fourth quarter, but Indiana took the lead for good on Donald Sloans 3 with 9 1/2 minutes remaining. Milwaukee was 9-of-24 from the floor in the fourth qquarter, including 1-for-7 on 3-pointers.dddddddddddd We couldnt get stops when we needed to and we missed shots we normally make, said Bucks coach Jason Kidd. The Pacers pushed their lead to seven three times in the quarter and held on down the stretch by making their free throws. Miles led all players with eight points in the first quarter and Indiana took a 23-21 edge into the second. Henson scored the first six points of a 9-0 Milwaukee run in the second quarter that gave the Bucks a 32-27 lead on a Jared Dudley 3. They pushed it to 53-46 at halftime. Game Notes The Pacers opened a four-game homestand that continues Sunday in Los Angeles against the Lakers ... The Bucks will put a three-game road winning streak on the line Sunday against New York. Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Cheap NBA Jerseys Wholesale NHL Jerseys Wholesale MLB Jerseys Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Wholesale NCAA Jerseys Wholesale Football Jerseys Wholesale Basketball Jerseys Wholesale Baseball Jerseys
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