The Leafs (21 points) leaped over the Buffalo Sabres (20 points) into second place in the Atlantic Division with the win.
LAST 10 GAMES: Golden Knights: 5-3-2, averaging 2.5 goals, 3.6 assists, 4.2 penalties and 9.6 penalty minutes while allowing 3.2 goals per game with a.903 save percentage.
Cody Ceci was born in Ottawa, played the bulk of his OHL career for the hometown 67's, was drafted by the Senators and spent the first six seasons of his National Hockey League career there. After two periods the game remained 0-0.
Pacioretty, who entered with 19 goals in 40 career games against the Leafs from his 10 seasons with Montreal, broke a 0-0 tie at 4:08 of the third period on a gift from Toronto defenceman Cody Ceci.
The Maple Leafs were just 3-2-3 while the team's captain was out with a hand injury. Tavares officially returned for the November 5 game vs. the Los Angeles Kings, but Thursday felt like his real return to form.
Leafs came in having given up at least one man-advantage goal against in 11 of 16 games this season, and in eight of their last nine, but managed to stave off a late Vegas opportunity. His goal would stand as the game-winning tally.
That's why, when Mitch Marner skated up the ice halfway through overtime with Tavares on his right and the pair saw William Karlsson as the only Vegas player back on a two-on-one, Scotiabank Arena erupted with anticipation. Marner made a ideal pass and Tavares buried the one-time shot past Subban for the game-winner. He had 47 goals and 88 points in his first season with the team.
Tavares signed a seven-year, $77 million contract with Toronto in free agency two summers ago. So far, he's succeeding.
While the win didn't earn the Leafs any style points, head coach Mike Babcock thought it was handsome and says right now, the harder the game is for his team, the better.