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Bernier makes 48 saves as Leafs top Stars in OT

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- Center Trevor Smith's overtime tip-in goal came in the nick of time for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he was only too willing to deflect any credit to goaltender Jonathan Bernier.

Smith scored at 4:18 of the five-minute overtime to give the Maple Leafs a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars and snap a five-game losing streak.

Bernier was the game's first star after stopping 48 shots.

"It was good to get the two points tonight," Smith said. "We're still not playing the way we need to play, but Bernie played amazing for us -- 48 (saves) tonight, and he's the reason we had an opportunity to win."

Smith tipped in a shot from defenseman Jake Gardiner after Stars center Shawn Horcoff sent the game into overtime with a power play goal at 17:14 of the third period.

While Bernier was making some big saves amid a barrage of Stars shots, Dallas goalkeeper Kari Lehtonen faced only 24 shots.

"At times it was utter domination," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "You've got to give their goalie a lot of credit. Give their team a lot of credit, they found a way to win."

Center Nazem Kadri scored two goals for the Maple Leafs, while left winger Erik Cole scored the other goal for the Stars. Center Phil Kessel had two assists for Toronto.

The Maple Leafs (15-11-3) avoided their first six-game losing streak since Feb. 18-29, 2012. They had two overtime losses during their winless streak.

The Stars (13-9-5) were coming off a win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.

"We'll take it and move on," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "We'll get ready for the next one and hope we feel better about ourselves."

The Stars tied the game for the first time at 1:52 of the third period on Cole's fourth goal of the season. He was at the left edge of the crease when he tipped in a pass from Horcoff, who accepted a drop pass from right winger Valeri Nichushkin.

The Maple Leafs regained the lead when Kadri scored his second goal of the game and his ninth of the season on the power play at 6:58 on a tip-in. Defenseman Alex Goligoski was off for cross checking.

Horcoff deflected the puck into the net for the Stars soon after on a power play, but it was disallowed because it was put in with a high stick.

"I knew it was a little high," Horcoff said. "I was hoping they'd count it, but if they count it, it has to be inconclusive the other way, and I felt it was a little bit high."

Horcoff's third goal of the season also was off a deflection, but this one stood up to a video review because his stick was lower.

"I knew that one was good," Horcoff said. "I was celebrating that one."

The tying goal came with four seconds left in a tripping penalty to Maple Leafs center Jay McClement.

"We were four seconds away, but we still had two opportunities to clear the puck, it would have been over, the penalty," Carlyle said.

Kadri, who missed Tuesday's game because of the death of his grandfather, scored at 58 seconds of the second period to give the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead. It came with Stars defenseman Trevor Daley still down in the corner after sliding into the dasher following an entanglement with Toronto left winger James van Riemsdyk. Daley was assisted from the ice and did not return due to what the team said was a lower-body injury.

"He's got an injury that's going to be a little bit of time," Ruff said. "Our people will evaluate it, but I can just tell it's going to be nothing that's short-term."

NOTES: The Maple Leafs were without C Tyler Bozak (strained oblique) and RW Colton Orr (elbow). According to the team, Bozak is out indefinitely. ... Stars C Tyler Seguin, who missed the previous two games due to concussion symptoms, took part in Thursday's morning skate and was in the starting lineup. ... Stars LW Ryan Garbutt, who sustained an ankle bone bruise while blocking a shot Tuesday in Dallas' 4-3 road victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, did not play Thursday. ... The Maple Leafs recalled RW Jerry D'Amigo from the Toronto Marlies after demoting RW Jerred Smithson to the AHL club. ... The Stars return home to play the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. The Maple Leafs visit the Ottawa Senators for a Saturday game.
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