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Red Wings hold on for 5-4 shootout win over Maple Leafs

The SportsXchange

TORONTO - The Detroit Red Wings know that some of their injured players are returning soon.

In the meantime they are grateful for games like their 5-4 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

When Pavel Datsyuk notched the clincher in the shootout to add to his goal in regulation time, the Red Wings had their second win in a row after ending a six-game losing streak.

"In the end, we've got to get players back," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We had a big game today. It was a real important game for us. I think we're going to get the cavalry back. To get through all the injuries, it shows the depth of the organization, which is critical to have."

The Red Wings took a 3-1 lead after the first period that led to Jonathan Bernier replacing James Reimer in the Toronto goal. The Maple Leafs tied it with two second-period goals and took a 4-3 lead in the third on a goal by right winger David Clarkson.

"We thought that would carry us through the night," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said. "But we made a mistake along the wall, the guy got in behind us, rebound."

It resulted in the tying goal by center Tomas Tatar late in the third to force overtime.

"I think we were fortunate to get a point," Carlyle said.

Center Joakim Andersson and right winger Tomas Jurco also scored for the Red Wings (17-12-9).

Defensemen Cody Franson and Dion Phaneuf, left winger Joffrey Lupul and right winger David Clarkson scored for the Maple Leafs (18-16-4).

Leafs left wingers James van Riemsdyk and Mason Raymond both missed their shots in the shootout. Right winger Daniel Alfredsson also scored in the shootout for Detroit.

"We have one more game before [the Christmas break] and then hopefully we'll get some bodies back," Alfredsson said. "Winning in overtime last time and winning in a shootout tonight, it's huge. I think it loosens the grip on the stick the next time around."

"We didn't really get any offense going in the first period," Lupul said. "We did battle back in the second. It was a pretty tight checking game in the third."

Reimer, who started his third consecutive game for the first time this season, gave up three goals on 12 shots in the first period. He was replaced to start the second period by Bernier, who stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced before the shootout.

Jonas Gustavsson, a former Maple Leaf goaltender, made 19 saves for the Red Wings.

"It felt really good to get that win in the shootout," Gustavsson said. "Especially for myself, too, because I didn't think I had my best game tonight so I felt a little bit better that we got the win."

The Maple Leafs took the lead at 8:32 of the third period when Clarkson jammed in the puck after a wild scramble in front of the goal started by Detroit turnover. It was Clarkson's third goal of the season and No. 100 of his career.

Bernier preserved the lead soon after when he stopped a partial breakaway by Datsyuk.

But Tatar steered home his seventh goal of the season from the edge of the crease to tie the score at 4 at 13:44 of the third period.

After Detroit dominated the first period to take a 3-1 lead, the Maple Leafs scored twice in the second period to tie it at 3. Phaneuf scored his third goal of the season on a slap shot from near the top of the left faceoff circle at 11:45 of the second to get the Maple Leafs back into the game.

Lupul tied it at 18:24 with his 11th goal of the season on a power play with a close-in wrist shot. Defenseman Kyle Quincey was off for high-sticking.

The Maple Leafs opened the scoring at 7:15 of the first period when Franson scored his second goal of the season on a shot from just inside the blue line.

Datsyuk tucked in a backhand from the left edge of the crease at 8:57 of the first for his 14th of the season to tie the score.

The Red Wings jumped into the lead on Andersson's sixth goal of the season on a wraparound from the right side of the net at 13:18.

Center Riley Sheahan passed to an uncovered Jurco in front of the goal, who spun and scored on a backhand at 18:08 of the first for his second goal of the season.

NOTES: D Danny DeKeyser (shoulder) returned to the Red Wings' lineup on Saturday after missing nine games. ... LW Henrik Zetterberg (back) hopes to return on Dec. 28 for the Red Wings' game against the Florida Panthers and G Jimmy Howard (knee) could be ready for the Dec. 30 game against the Nashville Predators. ... Toronto G Jonathan Bernier (lower body) did not start for the third straight game. ... Toronto C Tyler Bozak (oblique) is aiming to return Dec. 29 against the Carolina Hurricanes. ... Saturday's game was the first between the teams since Jan. 7, 2012, when the Leafs won 4-3 at Air Canada Centre. ... The teams play again Jan. 1 in the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.
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