The Bruins received regulation goals from David Krejci and Reilly Smith, while goaltender Tuukka Rask finished with 18 saves. Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard was outstanding and made 37 saves. Krejci and Smith also scored in the shootout.
The Bruins entered Wednesday's game having been outscored 9-4 by opponents in the first four games of the regular season. In only his second game back since missing the first three with an undisclosed injury, David Krejci scored to give Boston a 1-0 lead at 5:12. Teammate Chris Kelly gained control of a loose puck in the neutral zone and threaded a pass, sending Krejci on a partial breakaway. With a defender draped all over his back, Krejci beat Howard.
The Red Wings responded a few minutes later when Tomas Tatar collected the puck in the midst of a scramble in front of Rask and tied the game at 1-1 at 8:40 of the first period.
Boston regained the lead late in the second period. Brad Marchand won a puck battle behind the Detroit net and fed linemate Patrice Bergeron with a pass. Howard stoned Bergeron's backhanded wrap-around attempt and the puck trickled out to the slot where Smith was waiting, and he pumped it in at 13:31 for a 2-1 Boston lead.
Detroit tied it at 2-2 early in the third period when Gustav Nyquist scored a power-play goal at 2:56.
Boston had a pair of power plays in the third period, but couldn't capitalize on either one. With 8:57 remaining, Daniel Paille took slap shot from the left faceoff circle but hit the far post. The Bruins continued their late surge, but when they created quality-scoring chances, Howard made timely saves.
In overtime, the Red Wings were given a power play with 40.1 seconds remaining when Brendan Smith drew a tripping penalty on Bergeron. Fortunately for Boston, the Bruins' PK killed it off to force a shootout.
Saves of the game: With the game tied at 1-1 early in the second period, Krejci turned over the puck at the offensive blue line. The Red Wings' Luke Glendening gained control and skated the length of the ice on a breakaway, but Rask made the save at 5:01 of the period. Howard flashed his glove a few minutes later, stoning Marchand, who tried to finish off a 2-on-1 with Bergeron.
Deep breath: The Bruins had a 2-1 lead and were on the penalty kill late in the second period when Bergeron blocked a slap shot by Detroit defenseman Danny Dekeyser. The puck drilled Bergeron square on the left foot and he was clearly in discomfort. He remained on the ice for a few seconds before making his way to the bench, and he was quickly escorted to the locker room by a trainer. He returned for the third period.
Debut: Veteran forward Simon Gagne made his Bruins regular-season debut. He played on the team's fourth line, along with center Ryan Spooner and Paille, who moved to the right side. Because this was Gagne's first NHL game since April 27, 2013 after missing all of last season to injury, he wanted to keep things simple, and that's exactly what he did. He also saw time on special teams, and overall looked good for a 34-year-old who hasn't played in a year and a half. In the closing seconds of regulation, Gagne had a chance to win it but Howard made a glove save on a backhand attempt from the slot. Gagne had another scoring chance in overtime, but Howard made the save again.
Scratches: After a positioning breakdown that led to the game-losing goal with less than a second remaining in Monday's 2-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski was a healthy scratch against the Red Wings. He has been a healthy scratch in four of the team's five games this season. With Gagne in the lineup, forward Matt Fraser was a healthy scratch, too.
Up next: The Bruins don't get much of a rest before facing the Montreal Canadiens for the first time this season. After Wednesday's game, Boston traveled to Montreal and will face their storied rival Thursday night at Bell Centre. It will be their first meeting since the Canadiens ousted the Bruins in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last spring.