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Published September 12, 2015
Buffalo ended its five-game losing streak at home at a First Niagara Center filled with plenty of vocal Toronto fans.
And that made it all the sweeter for the Sabres.
Christian Ehrhoff scored 38 seconds into overtime and the Buffalo Sabres picked up a 3-2 win on Friday.
"It is always really fun to play," Ehrhoff said. "The fans that come down sometimes outnumber the Sabres fans and it brings out the best in our fans, too. They are up for the challenge and they were really loud again tonight."
Ehrhoff carried the puck from the right point to the center of the ice before sending a soft wrist shot on goal that went through James Reimer's legs.
"I didn't have the time to do a big wind-up there or get it hard," Ehrhoff said. "I saw the opening between the legs and just put one through there."
Matt Moulson and Luke Adam also scored for the Sabres, who got 22 saves from Ryan Miller and came from behind twice to force overtime.
Nikolai Kulemin and Phil Kessel scored for Toronto, which has lost six straight road games.
Buffalo's second home win over the Leafs was just its third win at home in 15 attempts and its sixth win overall.
The long-standing rivalry between the two teams helped drive a Sabres team that's struggled to find goals.
"We can see the guys getting a little fired up and it's about time," Miller said. "It's good. This kind of rivalry helps. It's always nice to beat them here because you feel like there's so many Leafs fans here, it's fun to send them home."
Toronto opened the scoring 2:12 into the first period when Kessel came down the left wing and put a snap shot over Miller's left pad.
Buffalo tied the score on the power play at 7:57 of the second period. With Reimer out of position, a falling Ville Leino used his backhand to find Moulson, who scored his 10th goal of the season and his second in as many games.
The Leafs took the lead back 2½ minutes later after Brian Flynn gave the puck away behind the Sabres net. A pass from Trevor Smith deflected in front of the goal, where Kulemin shot it out of the air and past Miller.
Adam shot a Reimer rebound under the goalie's glove at 18:50 of the second and the teams finished the second period tied at 2.
"Ever since Ted (Nolan) got here, the guys are just building on each and every game," Adam said. "We feel a lot more confident as a team, as players, when we come to the rink every morning for practice. That's carrying over and we're playing a lot better."
The score was Adam's first NHL goal since April 5.
The third period was light on scoring chances until the 12:42 mark, when Reimer made consecutive left pad saves on Adam.
James van Riemsdyk then had a chance to end the game in regulation on a last-minute breakaway, but Matt D'Agostini caught the Leafs forward from behind and swiped the puck into the corner.
Van Riemsdyk was surprised there was no penalty on the play.
"Unless we're playing football, I don't know," he said, later adding, "Usually when you're in all alone and you get your legs taken out from under you, you expect something, especially when the calls were like they were, five or six to one."
The Leafs came into the game as the second-least penalized team in the league but picked up 10 penalty minutes on the night, while the Sabres only gave Toronto's efficient power play one opportunity.
"The breaks aren't going our way and that's when you've got to find ways to create more," Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said. "We had a power play where we didn't get much going in the third period and we gave up a power-play goal earlier in the game."
Leino and Tyler Myers each had two assists.
NOTES: Leafs LW Mason Raymond played in his 400th NHL game. ... D Brayden McNabb, C Mikhail Grigorenko and D Jamie McBain were scratches for Buffalo. ... Both teams play on the road Saturday, with Toronto visiting Montreal and Buffalo at New Jersey.