If the Maple Leafs were going to begin repairing their nightmarish record at the First Niagara Center, they would need their coach to say "he played his best game of the season" afterward.

As it turned out, coach Randy Carlyle made precisely that statement about Matt Frattin, Cody Franson with similar praise for Jay McClement and goalie James Reimer as the Leafs beat the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in overtime.

"There was one place the puck could go and he put it there," Carlyle said about Frattin's game-winner with just 1.5 seconds remaining in OT. It was Frattin's second goal of the game.

The Sabres' rink had been a place where Leaf teams have come to die, and Toronto entered this contest having lost 10 of its past 11 visits, dating back to 2009. Toronto halted a two-game losing streak and moved past Buffalo out of the division basement.

"The puck was rolling, I tried to put it on net," Frattin said of his winner.

It was a rare triumphant moment for a Toronto team that been outscored 12-6 in its past two games, and one that had the aura of an invincible Ryan Miller to overcome.