Throughout the offseason, a lot of people wondered how the Detroit Red Wings would adjust to playing in the Eastern Conference.
After one game, it appears that they are adjusting just fine.
It was also the Red Wings' home opener and first game as a member of the Eastern Conference's new Atlantic Division.
“Everyone here was focused, excited and ready to go,” Howard said. “There are a lot of areas we can work on, but it’s nice to get your first game under your belt and first win as well.”
One of the strong suits for the Wings was their special teams unit, which killed off all seven Sabres' power plays, including two five-on-three advantages. Despite not netting a power play goal for themselves,head coach Mike Babcock was pleased with the power play unit.
“I actually thought our power play was real dangerous,” Babcock said. “We didn’t score on it, but it was dangerous.”
Samuelsson, who failed to score last season, scored the first goal of this season after he tipped a shot from Cory Emmerton past Ryan Miller at 12:05 of the first period.
Datsyuk would find the back of the net 36 seconds later, as he picked off a pass from Rasmus Ristolainen, performed a couple of dekes, and beat Miller with a backhander.
The Red Wings nearly had another goal in the second, but Todd Bertuzzi's goal was waved off when Daniel Cleary was penalized for bumping into Miller.
Emmerton had a chance to score too after he was hooked by Christian Ehrhoff on a breakaway and awarded a penalty shot, but Miller slammed the door on his attempt.
Zemgus Girgensons got the Sabres on the board at 12:36 of the third when he beat Howard with a backhander.
Miller finished with 32 saves. Two of which were on Red Wings forward Drew Miller, who is his younger brother.
- DET Pavel Datsyuk (GW Goal)
- DET Kyle Quincey
- DET Zemgus Girgensons (Goal)
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