NHL: Toronto 3, Buffalo 1

Feb. 21, 2013 at 10:42 PM

TORONTO, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- James van Riemsdyk put Toronto in front for good with the first of his two goals Thursday, sending the Maple Leafs to a 3-1 win over Buffalo.

The Sabres played a game without Lindy Ruff as their head coach for the first time in 16 years. Ruff was fired on Wednesday, ending the longest current head coaching tenure in the NHL and the second longest in any of the four major North American team sports.

With Ron Rolston on the bench as Buffalo's interim coach, the Sabres took the lead with 6:40 to go in the first period on a wrist shot by Tyler Ennis.

Toronto goaltender Ben Scrivens blanked Buffalo the rest of the way and earned his fifth win of the season, one more than he had during his rookie campaign last year.

Dion Phaneuf tied it for the Maple Leafs 1:15 into the second and van Riemsdyk gave Toronto the lead with 1:56 to go in the middle period.

Van Riemsdyk also scored on the power play with 5:32 remaining in the third. He has 11 goals for the season.

Ruff was fired after Buffalo got off to a 6-10-1 start to the season. The Sabres have missed the playoffs in three of the last five seasons.

Ryan Miller gave up the three Toronto goals on 35 shots.

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