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TORONTO - Jonathan Bernier came back to try and help end a losing streak. DeMario Davis Saints Jersey . By the time the goaltender and the Toronto Maple Leafs left Air Canada Centre, they were out of a playoff spot. Bernier returned from a five-game absence and did his best to keep the Leafs in it against the St. Louis Blues. But a plethora of other mistakes against one of the NHLs top teams Tuesday night ultimately resulted in a 5-3 defeat, their sixth in a row. "Its a hard league," Blues goaltender Ryan Miller said of the Leafs struggles. "Youve got to keep it all together." Things have seemingly fallen apart in just under two weeks time. The loss, coupled with the Blue Jackets beating the Red Wings and the Capitals picking up a point against the Los Angeles Kings, dropped the Leafs out of a wild-card position. Though all four teams have 80 points, Columbus and Detroit held the wild-card spots at the end of the night, ahead of the Capitals and then the Leafs because of games played. Not long ago Toronto was second in the Atlantic Division, and now it looks like the season is slipping away. "Certainly were afraid of letting it slip away," said winger Joffrey Lupul, whose early goal was the first time Toronto opened the scoring in eight games. "The whole year weve thought we were a playoff team, and we still believe that now. ... Theres reason for concern, but its not completely time to panic. Were still right there." Winger James van Riemsdyk, whose goal at 15:54 of the third period cut the Leafs deficit to a goal, said that the team has "100 per cent" faith that things can turn around with just eight games remaining. "We have a lot of confidence in our abilities and a belief in ourselves and believe in the guys in the room," van Riemsdyk said. "This thing is obviously far from over." At some point the Leafs (36-30-8) must show that instead of just talking about it. They were unable to do that against the Blues, who passed the Boston Bruins for the top spot in the league thanks to a hat trick from David Backes and one goal apiece from T.J. Oshie and former Leafs forward Alex Steen. Though Bernier allowed four goals, his return from a groin injury was more memorable for some of the big saves he made among his 44. The 25-year-old No. 1 goalie gave his team a chance, but too much continued to go wrong in front of and around the net. Lupul said a good team is supposed to bail its goalie out and vice-versa. That didnt happen for James Reimer in the first five games of this slide, and that continued with Bernier. "When you get in a slide like this its easy to start pin-pointing individuals, which is fair, but as a group we look at it like, if theres a mistake made by someone, someone else steps up and makes a play for them," Lupul said. "And we just havent been doing quite enough of that right now." Captain Dion Phaneuf hesitated twice to clear the puck on a late-first-period penalty kill before the Blues forced a turnover and scored, then was beaten by Steen in front of the net on the fourth goal St. Louis scored. Phaneuf was not made available to speak to reporters, leaving coach Randy Carlyle to answer for some of the defencemans poor play. "He and (Cody) Franson have been the top pairing on our blue line, as far as the offensive side of it, all year," Carlyle said. "In tonights situation, he had a rough night." Phaneuf could be blamed for at least two goals against, but he wasnt alone in having a rough night against the Blues (49-16-7), who showed early and often why theyre a Stanley Cup contender. "It was a 5-3 game where I think we couldve scored 10 goals tonight," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said in a nod to Bernier. "We had so many scoring opportunities, and I thought for the most part until we got careless and started to get fancy around the net instead of burying it that we were really playing one of our top games." During the first period, St. Louis hemmed the Leafs in their own end, putting 23 shots on net, a season high for Toronto. "I dont know," Lupul said. "We couldnt break their cycle, we couldnt get the puck." Had the Leafs managed to go into the first intermission tied 1-1, as Carlyle pointed out, they would have been fortunate. But Phaneufs mistake led to a power-play goal by Backes with 32.3 seconds left. Backes had to beat Bernier, too, but he did that twice and added an empty netter for his second career hat trick. "Theres something about this barn and this stage," Backes said. "Theres obviously a special thing about being in Toronto. The buzz in the air and everyones talking about the Leafs. Every establishments got a neon Leafs sign of some sort. This is kind of the Mecca for hockey here in Toronto." Hockey Mecca includes many more people panicking even after the Leafs lost to a much better team in the Blues. Van Riemsdyk repeatedly pointed out that the Blues are "a heck of a hockey team." Theres no disputing that, only that the Leafs couldnt find a way to end their skid. Bernier knows nothing should have to be said after this one. "If were missing motivation, at this time of the year everyone should have some," he said. "Obviously we knew it was not going to be easy. Thats a good team out there — theyre first and they showed it tonight." The Leafs showed something in trimming a three-goal deficit to one in the third period. And while thats the biggest thing theyll take from Tuesday night, its not nearly enough with the frustration building up. "Youve got to try and manage that," van Riemsdyk said. "If you play in a frustrated type of way youre no good out there. Weve got to continue to learn from things and look at the positives and kind of go from there." One positive Lupul sees is two games ahead at the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night and then back home against the Red Wings on Saturday night. "You win those two games, all of a sudden things look a lot different," he said. Until the Leafs manage to do that, things look bleak. NOTES: With Bernier back, the Leafs sent goaltender Drew MacIntyre back to the AHLs Toronto Marlies. ... Defenceman Paul Ranger was scratched for the third straight game with a neck injury. Tom Savage Jersey . 31-Feb. 2. While organizers havent decided if itll be red or green clay, they feel their choice of surface will give the Americans an advantage over Britain, which is expected to be led by defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray. Jermon Bushrod Jersey . Mike Babcock has turned to the Montreal Canadiens goalie over Roberto Luongo, who backed Canada to a gold medal in Vancouver in 2010, for Canadas final preliminary round game against the ailing Finns. http://www.officialsaintslockroom.com/jermon-bushrod-saints-jersey/ . Azarenka needed exactly one hour in a 6-1, 6-0 rout of Austrian Yvonne Meusburger to start the night session at Laver Arena. Sharapova had a much easier time earlier in the day with cooler conditions and took full advantage in 6-1, 7-6 (8-6) win over Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, while Radwanska had to rally for a 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.With the NHL Draft coming up on June 27 and free agency opening on July 1, discussions between NHL general managers are already heating up towards a busy off-season. Each day, TSN.ca provides the latest rumours, reports and speculation from around the NHL beat. Parting Ways Richard Labbe of La Presse reports that the Montreal Canadiens will not be offering a new contract to forward George Parros, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. Parros played 27 games with the Canadiens this season and didnt play a single playoff game. The Canadiens acquired him last July in a trade with the Florida Panthers. Busy Penguins? Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes that other NHL teams have already contacted new Penguins GM Jim Rutherford about some of his players. "Some people came after me today, and theres ideas out there," Rutherford said Wednesday after their annual GM meeting in New York. "I havent been throwing any ideas out, but Ill listen." As Rossi notes, eight roster players will have full or modified no-trade clauses that kick in July 1. While James Neal is not among them, Neals agent told the paper hes received calls from other teams that expressed interest in acquiring the winger. Neals agent also told the Tribune-Review he has not requested a trade. Rutherford added that retaining defenceman Matt Niskanen, one of 11 players who will to become unrestricted free agents July 1, is "not going to be easy." Free Agent Grab Mikhail Grabovskis agent Gary Greenstin told The Washington Post that he thinks the Capitals want the 30-year-old centre back in the fold next season. "I believe (management has) interest in Grabo," Greenstin told The Posts Alex Prewitt. "We have interest to stay in Washington. Well see whats happening." Last summer, Grabovski signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Capiitals after the Toronto Maple Leafs bought him out for the final four seasons of a five-year deal worth $5. Cameron Meredith Saints Jersey. .5 million per season. He scored 13 goals and 35 points in 58 regular season games with Washington. "If weve done the deal (by July 1), great," Greenstin added. "If not, not to worry. It has to be right, for Grabos camp, for the team. Were not worried at all. "We have short time, but we still have time." Something Bruin For Iggy Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com writes that the Boston Bruins have made re-signing Jarome Iginla their main priority right now. Afterwards, the focus will be on locking up restricted free agents Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug and Reilly Smith. A source also told CSNNE.com that the agent for soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Shawn Thornton hasnt yet been approached by the Bruins. As per Haggerty, Boston GM Peter Chiarelli said after the teams playoff elimination that he asked both Iginla and Thornton to "give him a few weeks" before the front office made any decisions on their status. However, Chiarelli added after the season that the Bruins are "trending away from that (fisticuffs) style." Staying In Jersey? New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello told Rich Chere of the Star-Ledger that he doesnt believe defenceman Adam Larsson would return to Sweden next season amid rumours that he was going back to play in his home country. New Job Coming TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported in Insider Trading on Wednesday that former Hockey Canada President and CEO Bob Nicholson will soon join the high ranks of an NHL team in a high executive capacity - above the level of president and below that of an NHL owner. Ken Campbell of The Hockey News added Wednesday that Nicholson has offers from Washington, Edmonton and Vancouver to be CEO, with the Capitals offering the most money. Cheap Jerseys Online Wholesale Black NFL Jerseys Youth NFL Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping ' ' '