Maple Leafs slip past Stars 3-2 in OT

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 5, 2013 at 11:37 pm •  Published: December 5, 2013

TORONTO (AP) — Jonathan Bernier and Trevor Smith helped the Toronto Maple Leafs end a five-game skid.

Bernier made 48 saves and Smith scored at 4:18 of overtime and Toronto beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 Thursday.

The Leafs won for the first time since Nov. 23.

"I'm happy we won because there seems to be a lot of pressure on our group, and hopefully this helps flush some of the things that are going on out there that we can feel a little bit of room to breathe what we went through," coach Randy Carlyle said.

"By no means that we think we're out of the woods, but it feels good to win a hockey game."

For the 10th consecutive game the Leafs were outshot. Bernier called being outshot — this time 44-22 in regulation and 50-24 total — this team's "style."

"My job is to go out there and give my team a chance to win," Bernier said. "I thought my last couple of games I wasn't very good. I needed to come here and play the way I can play and go shot-by-shot."

Bernier's performance didn't surprise Carlyle or his teammates.

"I'm not that impressed anymore because he's done this night in and night out," said center Nazem Kadri, who scored twice.

"It's almost expected of him now. He's been a great contributor to this team even throughout those tough stretches when they had us pinned in our end. Our goalie needs to make a couple big saves for us to get the win, and that's exactly what happened."

Bernier earned praise from Stars coach Lindy Ruff.

"I give their goalie a lot of credit. I give their team a lot of credit. They found a way to win," Ruff said.

Bernier wasn't perfect. Erik Cole beat him with a goal on the rush early in the third period when the Leafs got caught on a bad line change, and then Shawn Horcoff tipped a shot in on the power play to tie the score at 17:14 of the third.

Horcoff almost had a similar goal at the 9:42 mark of the third when he redirected a power-play point shot past Bernier. But the referees waved it off right away and video review upheld the no-goal call.

"I was hoping they'd count it, but I felt like it was a little bit high," Horcoff said. "I knew the next one was OK."

When Kadri scored his two goals, there was no doubt. His first came because of some sharp passing from linemates Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk 58 seconds into the second period.

Kadri added another, his ninth of the season, 6:58 into the third. He didn't grab that puck but did call Thursday night a "memory" because the game was dedicated to his grandfather, who died earlier this week.

"It's definitely something that he would've loved to see," Kadri said. "In the last couple years there hasn't been a game he's missed. He's going to be dearly missed by our family."

Kadri returned after missing Tuesday night's loss to the San Jose Sharks to attend his grandfather's funeral in London, Ontario.

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