Just like after previous home victories, ``We Can't Stop'' by Miley Cyrus blared from the Toronto Maple Leafs' locker-room.
The victory song that became synonymous with a season of good fortune was the same, but after beating the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Tuesday night the mood was much more relief than happiness. The result snapped a streak of eight straight regulation losses to keep the Leafs' slim playoff hopes alive.
``It feels like a lot of weight lifted off of our team,'' captain Dion Phaneuf said. ``We can feel good about ourselves because we won this game.''
The Leafs allowed themselves to feel good by picking up their first points since beating the Los Angeles Kings on March 13. They improved to 82 with five games remaining and passed the Washington Capitals (81, six games left) but still trail the Detroit Red Wings (84, seven games left) and Columbus Blue Jackets (83, seven games left) in the Eastern Conference wild-card race.
Catching either the Red Wings, who play the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, or the Blue Jackets, who blew a two-goal lead and lost in overtime to the Colorado Avalanche, remains a daunting task. But for Toronto (37-32-8), any victory represented a confidence boost.
``It's been a long time. It's been too long,'' coach Randy Carlyle said. ``You hope that you can build on it, but I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves because we didn't paint a Mona Lisa here tonight.''
In getting goals from Jay McClement, Dave Bolland and then the game-winner from David Clarkson, the Leafs managed to prevent what would've been their first stretch of nine straight regulation losses since 1967, the last time this franchise won the Stanley Cup.
``We were flat for a big part of that game and gave up three rush chances,'' said ex-Leafs forward Matt Stajan, who scored his 13th of the season for the Flames on a breakaway. ``That's how that team scores goals. You could say they got a bounce on the one. I'm guessing they haven't had many bounces the last month so we've just got to be better.''
A loss of any kind to the Flames (31-38-7) would've been devastating to a team that knew it would have to run the table and get some help just to give itself a chance. Step 1 was beating the Flames.