TORONTO (AP) - James van Riemsdyk scored two goals to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs past the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 on Thursday, spoiling the NHL head coaching debut of Ron Rolston.
Rolston, who until Wednesday was the head coach of the AHL's Rochester Americans, was hired as the Sabres interim coach following the club's decision to fire Lindy Ruff. Ruff, who also played 10 seasons for Buffalo, had been behind the club's bench since 1997 and was the NHL's longest-tenured head coach.
But the Sabres, who have dropped three straight and five of six, were booed off the ice following Tuesday's loss to Winnipeg.
Van Riemsdyk's power-play goal at 14:28 of the third - his team-leading 11th - gave Toronto breathing room after Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller stopped Van Riemsdyk with a fabulous glove save earlier on the power play.
Dion Phaneuf also scored Toronto, which won its third straight home game. Ben Scrivens stopped 31 shots for his third win in five starts since James Reimer's knee injury Feb. 11.
Tyler Ennis scored for Buffalo.