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Red Wings dispatch Maple Leafs in rare shootout win
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - The shootout drought is over for the Detroit Red Wings.
Daniel Alfredsson and Pavel Datsyuk both scored during the penalty shot tiebreaker to lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-4 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in a preview of the 2014 Winter Classic.
The Red Wings had lost six shootouts this season and an NHL-record 11 straight overall.
If Saturday's contest was an indication of what's in store on New Year's Day, the massive crowd at Michigan Stadium will be thoroughly entertained.
Toronto overcame a 3-1 deficit to grab a 4-3 lead in the third period before Tomas Tatar potted the equalizer with 6:16 remaining.
Former Maple Leaf Jonas Gustavsson did not allow a goal in the shootout after making 19 saves through overtime for Detroit, which won its second in a row on the heels of a six-game slide.
Alfredsson beat Jonathan Bernier with a wrister and Datsyuk went to the backhand to secure Detroit's first shootout win since Feb. 28 of last season at San Jose.
Bernier made 25 saves in relief of James Reimer, who was pulled after the first period.
Cody Franson scored 7:15 into the game to give the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead, but the Red Wings pumped three goals past Reimer on 12 shots.
Datsyuk worked a give-and-go with Riley Sheahan behind the Toronto net before coming out front and whipping a backhander home at 8:57. Joakim Andersson broke the tie with a wraparound at 13:18, then Tomas Jurco made it 3-1 with 1:52 left. Jurco was in the low slot when he took a feed from Sheahan, spun around and sent a backhander through Reimer.
Toronto answered with a three-goal flurry of its own, the first by Dion Phaneuf on a slap shot at 11:45 of the second period.
Joffrey Lupul netted a power-play goal with 1:36 remaining in the middle stanza before David Clarkson's 100th career tally in a scramble around the crease put the Maple Leafs ahead 8:32 into the third.
Tatar slipped a rebound past Bernier to tie the game.
The Maple Leafs have dropped six of their last eight games ... The Red Wings registered their first win in Toronto since Nov. 16, 2002, snapping a four- game losing streak ... This game marked the first meeting between the teams as division rivals since March 18, 1998 ... Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser returned to the lineup after missing 15 games with a separated shoulder.
12/21 23:27:11 ET