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game recap

Bernier, Maple Leafs hand Flyers costly OT loss

Toronto goalie makes 41 saves; Philadelphia falls out of playoff spot

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

Gardiner's overtime winner

TOR@PHI: Gardiner beats Mason with slap shot for GWG

4/7/16: Jake Gardiner wires a power-play slap shot past Steve Mason, giving the Maple Leafs an overtime win over the Flyers

  • 01:43 •

PHILADELPHIA -- Jake Gardiner scored at 2:51 of overtime, and the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday to knock them out of a Stanley Cup Playoff spot.

Philadelphia trails the Boston Bruins, who won 5-2 against the Detroit Red Wings, by one point for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference. The Flyers have two games remaining, and the Bruins have one.

"If you told us two months ago we'd be in this position, we'd take it," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said.

Jonathan Bernier made 41 saves, William Nylander and Colin Greening each had a goal and an assist, and Michael Grabner scored for Toronto (29-41-11), which ended a four-game losing streak.

Video: TOR@PHI: Nylander finishes Marincin's feed

Brayden Schenn, Andrew MacDonald and Wayne Simmonds scored for Philadelphia (39-27-14), which has lost three games in a row. Goalie Steve Mason made 22 saves.

The Maple Leafs got a power play during overtime when MacDonald was called for tripping Gardiner, who made the most of it when he beat Mason with a shot from the point 1:16 later. The goal was upheld after video review.

"We were able to obviously get some good goaltending and a timely goal at the end on the power play to win the game," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "We have a lot of kids in our lineup, but guys battled and found a way to get it done."

The Flyers felt they had the momentum going into overtime after Simmonds tipped Mark Streit's point shot past Bernier with 57.4 seconds remaining in the third period.

Video: TOR@PHI: Greening finishes off breakaway rush

"It's really frustrating not to get two points," Giroux said. "But at the end of the day, we have to put this one behind us and get ready for Pittsburgh [on Saturday]."

The Flyers trailed 2-0 after the first period, when they failed to generate any significant scoring chances.

"I thought we were hesitant at the beginning instead of initiating the play and being all over them," Streit said. "We waited, and it kind of burned us the first 20 minutes."

Nylander opened the scoring when he forced a turnover in the Philadelphia end, then took a diagonal cross-ice pass from Martin Marincin and tapped it past Mason at 5:28 of the first. Greening scored on a breakaway at 15:03 for his seventh goal of the season but fourth in the past four games.

Video: TOR@PHI: Simmonds scores 30th goal of the season

The schedule could have had something to do with the Flyers' slow start. Thursday was their fourth game in six days and the second of a back-to-back; they lost 3-0 to the Red Wings on Wednesday.

As much as the games are physically taxing, there's also a mental toll, Streit said.

"If you're slow a bit upstairs, you wait a second too long, and that second can hurt you," Streit said. "I thought compared to last night, things were quicker last night from the beginning. And tonight that wasn't the case at the beginning. At the end, yes, we kept it simple, we got it in their end, and we worked them hard. The first period, we had a hard time getting out of our own zone because we didn't play as a five-man unit; it was five players out there doing their own things. You can't play like that at this time of the year."

Schenn scored 29 seconds into the second period, then Philadelphia got a four-minute power play when Tobias Lindberg was assessed a double-minor for high-sticking Brandon Manning. The Flyers thought they had tied it 3:29 into the second when Jakub Voracek put the puck in the net, but the referees immediately waved it off because Giroux made incidental contact with Bernier prior to the puck crossing the goal line. The no-goal call was upheld after coach Dave Hakstol challenged.

Video: TOR@PHI: MacDonald beats Bernier through a screen

Then at 9:17 of the second, Grabner put the Maple Leafs ahead 3-1 when he intercepted a Simmonds pass and scored on a breakaway.

Philadelphia got within 3-2 on MacDonald's goal at 8:33 of the third period. It was his first goal in 55 games, dating to Jan. 3, 2015.

That energized the Flyers, who outshot the Maple Leafs 18-8 in the third period.

Now they feel they have to carry that play over to their final two games, against the Penguins at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday and the New York Islanders at Barclays Center on Sunday.

"We were all over them [in the third period], created a ton of chances," Streit said. "We tied it up; that's a positive. That's how we need to start the next game against Pittsburgh on Saturday."

Video: Gardiner scores overtime winner to defeat Flyers

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