Red Wings edge Sabres in Eastern Conference debut

NHL.com | Wednesday, 10.02.2013 / 10:43 PM

The Detroit Red Wings' debut in the Eastern Conference was a smashing success.

Mikael Samuelsson and Pavel Datsyuk scored and Jimmy Howard made 19 saves to lead the Red Wings to a 2-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday night. It was the first game for Detroit since shifting to the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference as part of the NHL's realignment.

Zemgus Girgensons scored and Ryan Miller made 32 saves for the Sabres, who went 0-for-7 on the power play in their season debut.

Detroit raced to a 2-0 lead with two goals in a span of 36 seconds midway through the first period. Samuelsson opened the scoring at 12:05 when he redirected Cory Emmerton's shot past Miller for the Red Wings' first goal of the season.

Datsyuk doubled Detroit's lead at 12:41, when he intercepted rookie Rasmus Ristolainen's pass in the Sabres' zone at the left circle, deked his way into the slot and ripped a backhander past Miller to make it 2-0.

The Red Wings, who've won 12 of their last 13 games against Buffalo at Joe Louis Arena, outshot the Sabres 8-6 in the first period.

Detroit believed it had grabbed a 3-0 lead with 8:35 left in the second period when Todd Bertuzzi poked a puck from the slot past Miller. But Danny Cleary bumped Miller on the play and was whistled for goalie interference.

Emmerton then had a glorious opportunity to put the Red Wings up by three goals when he was awarded a penalty shot with 7:41 left in the second after being pulled down on a breakaway by Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. But Miller denied Emmerton's wrist shot to keep it a 2-0 game.

Buffalo finally solved Howard with 7:24 remaining in regulation, and the Red Wings' goaltender played a big role in losing his shutout bid. Howard went behind the net to play the puck and attempted to shoot it around the boards, but Sabres forward Brian Flynn managed to get a piece of the clearing attempt and the puck went right in front, where Girgensons backhanded it into an open net to make it a one-goal game.

Girgensons, 19, was Buffalo's first-round pick (No. 14) at the 2012 NHL Draft and was appearing in his first game after spending last season with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
12:05DET Mikael Samuelsson (1) ASST: Cory Emmerton (1), Niklas Kronwall (1) 1 - 0 DET
12:41DET Pavel Datsyuk (1) ASST: NONE 2 - 0 DET
2nd Period
3rd Period
12:36BUF Zemgus Girgensons (1) ASST: Brian Flynn (1) 2 - 1 DET
Three Stars of the Game
Pavel Datsyuk
Pavel Datsyuk
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 20:08
Kyle Quincey
Kyle Quincey
G: 0Shots: 1
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 0PIM: 2
+/-: -1TOI: 16:59
Zemgus Girgensons
Zemgus Girgensons
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 11:23
Penalty Summary
1st Period
03:32DET Henrik Zetterberg  Hi-sticking against  Tyler Myers
04:01DET Jonathan Ericsson  Closing hand on puck
15:17BUF Drew Stafford  Boarding against  Brendan Smith
19:25DET Kyle Quincey  Interference against  Brian Flynn
2nd Period
05:03DET Henrik Zetterberg  Tripping against  Drew Stafford
09:27BUF Tyler Myers  Hi-sticking against  Cory Emmerton
11:25DET Daniel Cleary  Interference on goalkeeper against  Ryan Miller
16:36DET Mikael Samuelsson  Hooking against  Kevin Porter
17:45DET Cory Emmerton  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
3rd Period
16:02BUF Henrik Tallinder  Tripping against  Justin Abdelkader
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/70/3
Faceoff Wins2335
Blocked Shots98
Penalty Minutes614
3M. PysykD0013021:21
6M. WeberD00-10016:36
8C. McCormickC000106:10
9S. OttC0001017:36
10C. EhrhoffD0013025:17
12K. PorterC000009:31
19C. HodgsonC00-23023:32
20H. TallinderD00-11216:55
21D. StaffordR00-20219:11
23V. LeinoL0000012:38
25M. GrigorenkoC0012013:08
26T. VanekL00-22022:22
28Z. GirgensonsC1011011:23
36P. KaletaR000008:04
55R. RistolainenD00-13016:44
57T. MyersD00-10223:11
63T. EnnisC0000019:30
65B. FlynnC0110012:01
30R. Miller3234.94158:50
2B. SmithD00-10017:15
4J. KindlD0000016:39
8J. AbdelkaderL0012012:06
11D. AlfredssonR0003016:13
13P. DatsyukC1013020:08
18J. AnderssonC00-12017:04
20D. MillerL0012011:25
25C. EmmertonC011129:36
27K. QuinceyD00-11216:59
37M. SamuelssonR101128:27
40H. ZetterbergL0014420:52
44T. BertuzziR00-12012:09
52J. EricssonD0020221:04
55N. KronwallD0122025:41
65D. DeKeyserD0003016:58
71D. ClearyR00-13214:43
90S. WeissC0001013:54
93J. FranzenR0004014:47
35J. Howard1920.95060:00