DETROIT – Pavel Datsyuk and Mikael Samuelsson scored 36 seconds apart midway through the first period and the Detroit Red Wings held on to beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.
Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard turned the puck over, allowing Zemgus Girgensons to score in his NHL debut with 7:24 left in the game. Howard tried to clear the puck from behind his net, but it hit Buffalo’s Brian Flynn and popped over the net to set up Girgensons’ backhander that pulled the Sabres within a goal.
Howard made 19 saves in Detroit’s debut in the Eastern Conference, playing an Atlantic Division game against the young Sabres.
Buffalo had a two-man power play for 1:31 early in the first period and for 51 seconds late in the second, but couldn’t take advantage. In between those five-on-three opportunities, the Sabres were held scoreless on three power plays.
Ryan Miller gave up goals on the fifth and sixth shots he faced, and finished with 32 saves. He didn’t seem to have much of a chance on either goal.
Samuelsson swiped the puck out of the air and into the net off a centering pass from Cory Emmerton 12:05 into the game. Datsyuk got a giveaway in the Sabres’ end, skated between the circles and backhanded a shot that Miller appeared to not see until it was too late at 12:41 of the first.
MAPLE LEAFS 3, FLYERS 1: Dave Bolland scored twice and Phil Kessel added a goal to lead Toronto at Philadelphia.
The Maple Leafs are off to a 2-0 start and spoiled Philadelphia’s opener one night after ruining Montreal’s. Jonathan Bernier stopped 31 shots for the Maple Leafs.
PENGUINS: Goaltender Tomas Vokoun will miss 3 to 6 months while undergoing treatment for blood clots.
Vokoun, 37, hasn’t played since the blood clots were discovered last month. Vokoun said he hadn’t thought about retirement yet and wants to see how the treatment plays out before making any kind of decision.