Ann Arbor, MI, United States (4E Sports) – Tyler Bozak scored the game-winner in the shootout, lifting the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings in Wednesday’s 2014 NHL Winter Classic before 100,000-plus fans at Michigan Stadium.
Before Bozak’s game-winning stick-side shot, Jonathan Bernier had a crucial stop when he saved Tomas Tatar’s attempt to help the Maple Leafs (21-16-5) clinch a third straight victory.
Bernier made 41 saves, including 39 through regulation, Bozak and James van Riemsdyk scored in regulation while Dion Phaneuf assisted on both of those goals.
Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard recorded 24 saves, 22 in regulation, while Daniel Alfredsson and Justin Abdelkader scored for the Red Wings, who dropped to 18-14-10 after losing three of their last four contests.
The Red Wings grabbed the lead at the 13:14 mark of the second period when Alfredsson cashed in on a 2-on-1 with Henrik Zetterberg.
Jake Gardiner was left all alone to defend the rushing Zetterberg and Alfredsson. Zetterberg kept the puck until he got into the left circle. He moved it across to Alfredsson and the puck went into the net off of his right skate.
The official immediately called it a good goal and video review affirmed the call, giving Alfredsson his 11th tally of the season.
The Maple Leafs tied the game at 1-1 on van Riemsdyk’s 15th goal of the season in the final minute of the second period. The goal came after Howard robbed van Riemsdyk twice from the doorstep.
Bozak gave the Maple Leafs a 2-1 lead at the 4:41 mark of the third period, but Abdelkader tied the game with his fifth goal of the season, 5:32 left in regulation.
The Red Wings were forced to play without center Darren Helm, who was a late scratch because of a sore groin. Gustav Nyquist played in his place.
Meanwhile, the ice crew came out with shovels at each television timeout to clear the snow and used the resurfacing machines throughout the intermissions.