Tyler Bozak scored the winning shootout goal and Jonathan Bernier made two saves in the final moments, lifting the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory over Detroit at the snowy NHL Winter Classic in front of the largest crowd to watch a hockey game.
The announced attendance Wednesday of 105,591 surpassed the 104,173 who watched the University of Michigan and Michigan State University play a college hockey game in the same college football stadium in 2010.
The game began with temperatures of 13 degrees Fahrenheit and a steady snow that didn’t stop on a windy afternoon. It was the sixth instalment in the Winter Classic series – an annual regular-season game between NHL clubs played outdoors.
Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg appeared to have good chance in overtime with the puck in the Maple Leafs’ end and defenseman Cody Franson on his left side. The horn, however, sounded to stop play at the 2:30 mark of the extra period so the teams could switch sides, ensuring both played into a 10 mph wind for an equal amount of time.
Joffrey Lupul, who might face discipline from the NHL for a cross-check that knocked Patrick Eaves out of the game in the first period, scored the first of two goals for the Maple Leafs in the shootout.
Bernier made 41 saves – the most in an outdoor regular-season game.
Valtteri Filppula had a goal and an assist as Tampa Bay got just their second win in Vancouver in the 21-year history of the club.
Tampa Bay also posted their fourth straight road win for the first time since Jan. 8-Feb. 7, 2008.
Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn got the other goals for Tampa Bay.
Brad Richardson and Zac Dalpe scored for the Canucks, who lost their second straight.
Tampa Bay’s Ben Bishop made 28 saves for his 21st win of the season.
Vancouver’s Eddie Lack recorded 29 stops.