Red Wings 2, Sabres 1: Jimmy Howard turned aside 19 shots to make a pair of first-period goals stand up as host Detroit skated to victory in its Eastern Conference debut.Mikael Samuelsson and Pavel Datsyuk scored 36 seconds apart for the Red Wings, who killed off seven shorthanded situations to improve to 12-0-1 in their last 13 home games versus Buffalo.Signed to a six-year deal worth $31.8 million in April, Howard watched Thomas Vanek's point-blank shot ring off the post midway through the third period before his giveaway behind the net ended his bid for his 17th career shutout. The puck caromed off Brian Flynn and out front where Zemgus Girgensons backhanded a shot past a sprawling Howard for his first career goal with 7:24 remaining.Detroit killed off a 5-on-3 disadvantage early in the first before snapping a scoreless tie at 12:05 of the period. Cory Emmerton breezed into the offensive zone and backhanded a centering feed from along the boards near the right circle. Samuelsson alertly batted the puck out of the air and past Michigan native Ryan Miller (32 saves) for his 149th career goal.Datsyuk doubled the lead in short order after taking advantage of a turnover by 18-year-old defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen before his backhand shot from the high slot eluded Miller.GAME NOTEBOOK: The Red Wings nearly extended their lead to 3-0 with 8:35 remaining in the second period, but RW Daniel Cleary was whistled for goaltender interference after backing into Miller. Emmerton had another chance to give Detroit a three-goal advantage after being pulled down by Vanek on a breakaway, but Miller made a pad save on the ensuing penalty shot. ... Detroit RW Daniel Alfredsson, who signed a one-year, $5.5 million deal in the offseason, recorded three shots on goal. ... The Sabres last defeated the Red Wings in Detroit on March 6, 1994.
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