The Maple Leafs took the lead all night and on two occasions they struggled to hold the advantage. After the Leafs took 1-0 and 2-1 leads the Sabres replied just 1:55 and 1:31 later.
In the third period, Luke Schenn blasted home his fifth of the year and Fredrik Sjostrom iced it with the empty netter with 37 seconds left. It was the Leafs' first win in 11 games over Ryan Miller and the Sabres.
Career NHL game for Brayden Irwin.
Goalless streak for Garnet Exelby before his goal Thursday.
Different Maple Leafs to record a point on Thursday.
Luke Schenn continues his big turnaround from earlier this season. Schenn is playing with a great deal of confidence and that is evident in the way he ventures into the offensive zone and takes more chances than earlier this season or even in his rookie year.
Schenn's fifth of the year not only adds to his career high, it also was his first career game winning goal. He finished the night with over 17 minutes of ice-time, a plus one rating and three hits.
Christian Hanson remains snake-bitten in his bid to score his first goal of the season. Hanson had a great chance in the first period but he was robbed on the one-timer by Ryan Miller.
Hanson and his NCAA linemates have shown excellent chemistry. They were dangerous all night and despite only getting the one goal from Stalberg, they kept the pressure on. Hanson ended the night with three shots and a plus one rating in 15:37 of ice time.
The Maple Leafs finally found a way to beat Ryan Miller. It took 11 games but the Leafs solved the Sabres netminder. Coming into Thursday's game, the Sabres had won eight straight games at Air Canada Centre.
It was a big night for Garnet Exelby. Known more for his hitting and toughness, the Leafs blueliner scored his first goal in a long time. His last goal? December 18, 2007 with Atlanta against Tampa Bay.
Ron Wilson on finally beating the Sabres and Ryan Miller:
"The goals we scored were kind of the results of hard work and two of them essentially were screens. Luke's was a little bit lucky, it ramped off their forward's stick and then dipped. It was like a knuckleball that beat him. You have to earn every goal. Ryan doesn't give you anything and you just have to show a lot of perseverance around the net and fortunately we did."
Saturday April 3 vs. Boston Bruins 7 PM ET (CBC, AM640)
Game Notes: The Leafs close out the season series against another Northeast opponent this time the Bruins.
Boston is coming off a 1-0 loss to the Florida Panthers as they vie for a playoff spot. After Thursday's action, the Bruins had a two point lead on Atlanta for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.