BUFFALO -- It doesn't matter how it happened, just that it did.
After seeing the Buffalo Sabres battle back from a 2-0 and 3-2 deficit to tie the game in the third, the Red Wings hung tight in overtime and then got shootout goals from Dylan Larkin and Andreas Athanasiou to earn the 4-3 win.
Detroit snapped a nine-game winless streak, getting the victory for the first time since a 3-2 shootout win over the Ottawa Senators on Jan. 10.
Larkin (two) and Tyler Bertuzzi (power play) scored in regulation for the Wings (13-38-4).
Jimmy Vesey, Scott Wilson, the former Wings forward, and Evan Rodrigues scored for the Sabres (23-23-8).
Detroit goalie Jonathan Bernier (11-14-2) made 29 saves plus two in the shootout.
Buffalo goaltender Jonas Johansson (0-0-1) had 18 stops in his first NHL start.
Up next for the Wings is the second half of the back-to-back road set in Columbus against the Blue Jackets on Friday.
The Sabres travel to take on the New York Rangers Friday, finishing their own back-to-back games.
1. Dylan Larkin/Tyler Bertuzzi: There is a reason that Larkin is one of the Red Wings' alternate captains. Not only is he one of the team's best players, he is nearly always one of the top drivers of play. In the first, Johansson stopped Larkin's shot but the Wings kept attacking. With Luke Glendening screening Johansson, Larkin's shot found its way into the net at 4:23. Trevor Daley and Robby Fabbri picked up the assists. The goal snapped a drought of 1:33:24. With the clock running down in the second, Larkin and Fabbri had a 2-on-1. Fabbri held the puck and then passed to Larkin on the left. Larkin scored with .02 remaining in the period. Fabbri and Filip Hronek had the assists. Bertuzzi got the go-ahead power-play goal at 13:56 of the third after Valtteri Filppula delivered a perfect pass from behind the net. Bertuzzi leads the team in goals with 18 and Larkin is second with 15. Larkin went first in the shootout and scored on the backhand. Larkin finished with 26 shifts for 26:22, had a game-high eight shots, two hits, a giveaway, a takeaway, was 11-of-23 in face-offs and was even. Bertuzzi finished with 20 shifts for 19:55, had two shots, a hit, a giveaway, a blocked shot and was minus-1.
Quotable: "Yeah, it feels good. We had a good start, good first two periods and then I think we just let our foot off the gas a little bit there in the third. They're a hungry team as well. Things hadn't been going their way. We knew they were going to come. I wish we would have made it a little easier for us tonight, a little easier on Bernie but we stuck it out, played good defensively in overtime and won it in a shootout and two points is two points for us right now." - Larkin
Quotable II: "You know you just gotta stick to the process. At some point, the puck's gonna start going in, and it did tonight." - Bernier
Quotable III: "There's no doubt. If you never get rewarded, it's hard to keep your confidence, it's hard to believe in what you're doing, it's hard to do those things. It's really important I think to be able to get rewarded. That's one of the hardest challenges we had this year, because even when we've done things right, we haven't gotten rewarded. Again, we weren't perfect tonight. We got lots to work on. We got lots to get better at. But I thought the effort level was great. I thought it was good to get rewarded for fairly good process." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill
2. Jonathan Bernier: Now that Bernier is healthy, he appears to be the Red Wings' No. 1 netminder. Since returning, Bernier has started the last three games, at home against the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers and on the road in Buffalo. Unlike in the previous two games, the Wings gave Bernier some goal support, with Larkin scoring twice in the first. Bernier continued to be sharp, stopping eight shots in each of the first two frames. However, in the first, it appeared the Sabres had tied the game at 6:36 of the first on Wilson's deflection but the Wings challenged that Wilson had interfered with Bernier. The officials agreed and the Wings kept the 1-0 lead. Bernier had some nice stops during an early penalty kill in the first. In the second, he stopped Michael Frolik from the left circle at 7:50, Vesey's rush to the net at 8:28 and Jeff Skinner in the right circle at 17:05. At 4:41 of the third, Bernier pushed hard to his right to stop Colin Miller's shot from the left circle. Vesey's rebound at 5:48 of the third and Wilson's redirection at 8:29 were the two that Bernier was not able to stop. With the extra attacker and Bernier down, Rodrigues scored the game-tying goal at 19:13 of the third. But Bernier stoned both Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart in the shootout.
Quotable: " It's tough on the mood but obviously we came up - I thought we played really good. We panicked a little bit in the third but other than that, we played a solid game. You do (the shootout) in practice and you just try to do the same thing you're doing in practice. Obviously there's guys you kinda know what they're gonna do, so you have it in the back of your head. But you just gotta just react and focus on one guy by one guy." - Bernier
Quotable II: "Just to come in the room and see smiles and listen to some music. We got a guy playing in his first game tonight and I thought he did really well. Bernie has been so big for us lately and he played another solid game, made the saves he had to, kept us in it really and made huge saves. Just a total team win, everyone feels good right now, we got to keep that going." - Larkin
Quotable III: "We hung in there. Bernie's been good for a real long time and he was really good in the third when he needed to be. He made some big saves at critical moments. Overtime, we probably had the best chance but they had the rest of them. We only had one real chance and they had the rest of them. I thought Bernie played real well. That's what it takes in this league and he's given us that for awhile and hasn't got rewarded. So it was good for him to get rewarded tonight." - Blashill
3. Robby Fabbri/Filip Hronek/Gustav Lindstrom: With no scoring in the last two games, Blashill shuffled the lines. Fabbri was moved to the top line with Darren Helm and Larkin. Bertuzzi shifted to a line with Filppula and Justin Abdelkader. By assisting on both of Larkin's goals, Fabbri reached the 100-point milestone in his 202nd NHL game. Hronek, paired with Madison Bowey, assisted on Larkin's second goal for his 50th career point in his 99th game. Of course, the biggest milestone of the night was Gustav Lindstrom making his NHL debut in front of his parents, Johanna and Anders. Fabbri finished with 22 shifts for 16:55, had one shot, one takeaway, two blocked shots, was 1-for-1 in face-offs and was plus-1. Hronek finished with 26 shifts for a team-high 28:27, had two shots, one hit and was even. Lindstrom finished with 19 shifts for 12:07, had one minor penalty and was minus-1.
Quotable: "I think my average heart rate was like 180 or something the whole day. Before the game, I felt like I had already played the game in my head like 20 times. It was good after the puck dropped, after that, it was good. We played great, I think we had a solid game. They had a few chances but I think we played good tonight and obviously we wanted to keep playing in the third but they have some good players who can make a difference, so it's hard to defend but we still got the win, so it's fun." - Lindstrom
Quotable II: "I thought he played really good. He didn't lose too many one-on-one battles from what I saw. It's tough for me to see what's really going on but I was really impressed with his composure, too." - Bernier
Quotable III: "I thought he played pretty well. Obviously your first game, you're a bit nervous but I thought overall, he knows how to defend the right way. Little technique things, like whether it's one or two hands on the stick, his body position, he's pretty unflappable. That's what I like about him. He's not a really nervous kid. He's just unflappable. He seems to have a way about him that he's real comfortable in his own skin." - Blashill