Toronto, ON – Tim Connolly netted the game-winner 44 seconds 1.
The difference maker came off a rebound of a Joffrey Lupul shot from the right circle, which trickled behind Cam Ward and somehow squirted to a trailing Connolly for an easy stuff-in.
The goal spoiled Ward's 36 saves and the goaltender showed his frustration by smashing his stick against the post. Carolina lost for the ninth time in 10 games and fell to 1-6 under head coach Kirk Muller, who took over for Paul Maurice on November 28.
James Reimer needed just 17 saves to earn the win, just the second in the last six games for the Leafs.