Red Wings finally win a shootout, top Leafs 5-4

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The Detroit Red Wings broke a big slump against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, the same night that the second episode of HBO’s 24/7 series on the 2014 Winter Classic aired.

Detroit’s 5-4 shootout win ended an 11-game losing streak in the “skills competition” that stretches back to last season (including an 0-6 mark in 2013-14 before this victory), as MLive.com points out.

Sure, they haven’t been the prettiest wins against the most dominant of teams, but the Red Wings probably won’t complain too much about two consecutive wins – both beyond regulation – after dropping six in a row in often frustrating ways. They’re now 17-12-9 on the season, with Jonas Gustavsson grabbing 10 of those wins.

(It makes you wonder if the Red Wings really want Jimmy Howard to push for a return by the Winter Classic.)

While the Red Wings are seemingly regaining their footing, the Maple Leafs’ stumbles continue. They’ve lost three of four and six of eight contests. They also only have two regulation wins since Nov. 19.

It’s the kind of hockey that can make anyone a little camera-shy, although Detroit can testify that it’s also possible to turn things around even as things look bleak.