Leafs’ Bernier to start three straight for first time in career

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Jonathan Bernier’s stranglehold on Toronto’s No. 1 goaltending job just got a little tighter.

Bernier will get the nod tonight at home against Edmonton, marking his third consecutive start and the first time in his six-year career he’s started three in a row.

The 25-year-old gets the net after another stellar effort against Nashville on Thursday. Bernier stopped all 36 shots in a 4-0 win over the Preds, pushing his numbers on the year to a gaudy 3-1-0 with a .974 save percentage and 0.85 GAA.

The decision means Toronto’s starting goalie of last season, James Reimer, will have gone a week between appearances. The last time Reimer played was last Saturday against Ottawa, when he was yanked in favor of Bernier after allowing four goals on 21 shots.

Bernier never had a chance for successive starts in L.A., thanks in large part to Jonathan Quick’s outstanding play and his workhorse-like approach to playing time. Quick appeared in a career-high 72 games in 2009-10, and followed that up with 69 games played during the Stanley Cup championship year of 2011-12.