A pair of quick goals in the first period was enough to lift the Red Wings to a season-opening win over the Sabres on Wednesday 2-1. Zemgus Girgensons notched his first-ever NHL goal for Buffalo in the loss.
The Red Wings jumped on the Sabres early, finding the net 36 seconds apart in the first period to go up 2-0. Mikael Samuelsson opened the scoring, tipping a Cory Emmerton shot past Ryan Miller. Pavel Datsyuk followed that up with a successful backhand shot off a Rasmus Ristolainen turnover. Deep in his own end, Buffalo's rookie defenseman put the puck on Datsyuk's stick and the long-time Red Wing took advantage, cutting toward the net and beating Miller cleanly.
After the two sides skated to a scoreless second period, Buffalo nearly got on the board for the first time near the halfway mark of the third, but Thomas Vanek ripped a shot off the post. Minutes later, Zemgus Girgensons scooped a loose puck over Jimmy Howard to cut Detroit's lead in half, 2-1. The scoring play marked Girgensons' first career goal in the NHL.
The Sabres were stifled on the power play during this game, failing to capitalize on a pair of 5-on-3 opportunities and going 0 of 7 overall with the man advantage. Miller stopped 32 shots in the loss and Howard came up with 19 saves. The Sabres (0-1-0) open their home schedule Friday against the Ottawa Senators at First Niagara Center. Hear the call with Rick Jeanneret and Rob Ray on WGR 550.
12:05 - DET - Mikael Samuelsson (1) (Cory Emmerton, Niklas Kronwall)
12:41 - DET - Pavel Datsyuk (1) (Unassisted)
3:32 - DET - Henrik Zetterberg (2 min., high-sticking)
4:01 - DET Jonathan Ericsson (2 min., closing hand on puck)
15:17 - BUF - Drew Stafford (2 min., boarding)
19:25 - DET - Kyle Quincey (2 min., interference)
5:03 - DET - Henrik Zetterberg (2 min., tripping)
9:27 - BUF - Tyler Myers (2 min., high sticking)
11:25 - DET - Daniel Cleary (2 min., goaltender interference)
12:19 - BUF - Thomas Vanek (penalty shot awarded for tripping)
16:36 - DET - Mikael Samuelsson (2 min., hooking)
17:45 - DET - Cory Emmerton (2 min., delay of game, puck over glass)
12:36 - BUF - Zemgus Girgensons (1) (Brian Flynn)
16:02 - BUF - Henrik Tallinder (2 min., tripping)
BUF - Ryan Miller (32 saves, 34 shots)
DET - Jimmy Howard (19 saves, 20 shots)
BUF - 0 of 7
DET - 0 of 3
1.) Pavel Datsyuk (1 G, 0 A)
2.) Kyle Quincey (0 G, 0 A)
3.) Zemgus Girgensons (1 G, 0 A)