ANN ARBOR, Mich. - If the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings played this way on a Wednesday night in January at Air Canada Centre or Joe Louis Arena, it'd be considered a mediocre NHL game.
But this was the Winter Classic, with snow falling and the wind blowing through Michigan Stadium in the middle of a frigid afternoon. The conditions made for some sloppy play at times, but the spectacle of the event overshadowed that.
Tyler Bozak finished off the on-ice drama by scoring the shootout winner for the Leafs, who moved ahead of the Red Wings in the Eastern Conference wild-card standings with a 3-2 victory in front of a frozen crowd of 105,491.
Joffrey Lupul also scored in the shootout for Toronto, while Pavel Datsyuk scored for Detroit.
Bozak and James van Riemsdyk scored in regulation for the Leafs, while Daniel Alfredsson and Justin Abdelkader had the Red Wings' goals.
Toronto goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 41 saves in regulation and overtime for the victory, his third straight. Detroit's Jimmy Howard had 24 saves in a losing effort.