Leafs beat Bruins but playoff hopes remain dim
By Steve Keating
TORONTO (Reuters) - Nazem Kadri scored in overtime to lift Toronto to a 4-3 win over Eastern Conference leaders Boston on Thursday, but the Leafs' playoff hopes remain dim despite the victory.
Toronto entered the game a point behind Columbus for the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot and the gap remained at the end of the night after the Blue Jackets shut out the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0.
The Blue Jackets, however, have two games in hand on Toronto and the Maple Leafs have only four left to play.
"I know it is a cliché but we have our backs against the wall," said the Leafs' James van Riemsdyk, who notched his 30th goal of the campaign in the win.
"We have no choice, we just have to keep on clawing and scratching and find away to stay alive. Things are tough and we are going to have to take it one game at a time, one shift at a time."
After ending a seven-season playoff drought last year, the Maple Leafs, the only NHL franchise valued at a $1 billion by Forbes, look likely to once again be watching the postseason action on television.
The win was the second straight for the Leafs but it may be a case of 'too little too late' coming on the heels of an eight-game losing streak that sent them spiraling down the standings.
"A lot of pressure," said Kadri, knowing the Leafs needed a win against the NHL's top team to keep their playoff bid alive. Continued...