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Leafs end eight-game skid, keep pace in playoff chase

Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Dave Bolland and David Clarkson scored 3 1/2 minutes apart in the third period to help the Toronto Maple Leafs halt an eight-game losing streak with a 3-2 decision over the Calgary Flames.

Jay McClement also lit the lamp to support a 20-save effort from Jonathan Bernier in a much-needed result for the Maple Leafs. Not only did Toronto end its longest skid since the 2010-11 season, it gained a point on Columbus for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference after the Blue Jackets lost in overtime to Colorado on Tuesday.

"It's been a long time, too long," said Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle. "Obviously it's a much better feeling than any we've enjoyed over the past couple of weeks here."

The Blue Jackets own two games in hand on Toronto, however.

Matt Stajan and Kris Russell accounted for Calgary's goals, with Karri Ramo coming up with 20 saves in defeat.

"It was one of those games where it seemed like the shots and scoring chances were tough to get," said Calgary head coach Bob Hartley. "There wasn't a lot of action going on today and it was tough to generate anything."

Bolland snapped a 1-1 deadlock 2:16 into the final frame with a shot that caromed off the skate of Flames defenseman T.J. Brodie and crossed the line to cap a successful transition rush.

Clarkson made it a two-goal game shy of six minutes played, converting a breakaway chance created by Mason Raymond's takeaway in the Toronto zone.

Calgary closed the gap on Russell's marker, a wrister from the right circle that deflected off Bolland and snuck past Bernier with 12:36 remaining. Ramo was pulled for an extra attacker with around a minute left, and the Flames pressured Bernier but failed to come up with the equalizer.

A scoreless and largely uneventful opening period was followed by McClement's goal less than a minute into the second, a tip-in off Cody Franson's crisp centering pass while crashing the Calgary net.

The Flames drew even before the conclusion of the middle session, however, as Stajan beat Bernier one-on-one with 3:05 left in the period after taking in a pinpoint feed from Brodie.

Game Notes

Stajan now has two goals and two assists over a four-game point streak ... Forward Bryce Van Brabant, signed to an entry-level contract by the Flames over the weekend after his collegiate career at Quinnipiac ended, made his NHL debut ... Calgary defenseman Ladislav Smid missed a second straight game with an upper-body injury ... Bernier made 41 saves in Toronto's 4-2 win at the Saddledome back on Oct. 30.

04/02 00:57:07 ET