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Leafs fall short against Blackhawks in overtime

Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen makes the save on Chicago Blackhawks left wing Tomas Jurco as Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly looks on during action in Toronto on Saturday, March 18, 2017.

Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Toronto Maple Leafs came up just short of a big win over one of the NHL's top teams.

Ryan Hartman scored the winner with 17 seconds left in overtime as the Chicago Blackhawks downed the Leafs 2-1 on Saturday night.

Auston Matthews broke out of a goal drought in defeat, while Frederik Andersen was sharp with 37 saves. The Leafs (32-23-15) hold the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, now with 79 points.

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The Blackhawks (46-20-5) increased their hold on top spot in the Western Conference, now with 97 points following their fourth straight win.

John Hayden scored his first NHL goal in the win for Chicago while Corey Crawford stopped 25 of 26 shots.

The Leafs, sporting historic green and white uniforms, were playing their first game at home after a three-game road trip which saw them scoop up a pair of wins. Chicago, the top team in the West and among the hotter clubs in the NHL of late, posed a big challenge to that mini-run. The Blackhawks entered the night with victories in three straight and six of their last eight.

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