TORONTO (AP) — The best thing the Detroit Red Wings could say about their come-from-behind shootout victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs was that they figured out a way to win.
Pavel Datsyuk and Daniel Alfredsson scored in the tiebreaker, and Detroit escaped Toronto with a 5-4 victory Saturday night in a Winter Classic preview.
The Red Wings had lost 11 straight shootouts, six this season.
"It was a mental block for us," Alfredsson said. "To win this one, hopefully we can put that behind us and start winning a few. Winning in overtime last game and now winning in a shootout tonight lessens the grip on the stick next time around."
Detroit coach Mike Babcock wasn't too hung up on his team's struggles in shootouts. But he was quite pleased to have a two-game winning streak after his club dropped six straight.
"I think we're a pretty even-keeled group," Babcock said. "We just keep on keeping on. We're going to be fine here in the end. We've got to get players back, and then we'll start playing with some speed and confidence and tempo and everything."
The Red Wings were playing without injured captain Henrik Zetterberg (back), goalie Jimmy Howard (knee), center Stephen Weiss (sports hernia), and forwards Gustav Nyquist (groin), Johan Franzen (concussion) and Justin Abdelkader (concussion). They got defenseman Danny DeKeyser back after he missed 15 games with a shoulder injury.
Tomas Tatar scored for Detroit with 6:16 left in regulation to tie it at 4.
Datsyuk, Joakim Andersson and Tomas Jurco had first-period goals for the Red Wings.
David Clarkson, Dion Phaneuf, Joffrey Lupul and Cody Franson scored for Toronto. The Maple Leafs, who rallied from a two-goal deficit, have lost six of eight.