DETROIT -- Mikael Samuelsson and Pavel Datsyuk scored, Jimmy Howard made 19 saves and the Detroit Red Wings held off the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.
Detroit made its Eastern Conference debut against one of its new Atlantic Division rivals, and Red Wings' free agent acquisitions, Daniel Alfredsson and Stephen Weiss, played their first regular-season game with their new team.
The Red Wings killed off all seven Buffalo power plays, including a 1:31 two-man disadvantage in the first period and a 51-second 5-on-3 opportunity late in the second period.
Zemgus Girgensons got the lone goal for Buffalo. Sabres goalie Ryan Miller stopped 32 shots.
Sabres left wing Thomas Vanek hit the goal post with 9:29 left.
Miller was the goalie for the silver-medal-winning U.S. team in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Both Miller and Howard attended the Team USA 2014 Olympic orientation camp in late August.
Girgensons spoiled Howard's shutout attempt with a backhander from the slot with 7:24 left in the third.
Detroit scored both its goals in a 36-second span of the first period.
Samuelsson opened the scoring with 7:55 left in the opening period when he tipped a pass that was inches off the ice, knocking it over Miller's shoulder from the bottom of the right circle.
With 7:19 remaining in the first, Datsyuk scored on backhand shot from between the hash marks as he skated from left to right across the crease.
An apparent Detroit power-play goal with 8:35 left in the second period was waved off, and Daniel Cleary received a goaltender-interference penalty. During the penalty kill, Vanek pulled down Cory Emmerton on a breakaway, and Emmerton was awarded a penalty shot with 7:41 remaining in the middle period. Miller stopped Emmerton on the attempt.
NOTES: Ryan Miller and Detroit F Drew Miller are brothers. They grew up in Lansing, Mich., and played at Michigan State. ... Buffalo coach Ron Rolston is a native of Fenton, Mich., which is about 45 mile north of Detroit. ... The Red Wings begin the season with C Darren Helm (back) and RW Patrick Eaves (ankle, knee) on the long-term injured reserve list and F Jordan Tootoo (shoulder) and G Jonas Gustavsson (groin) on the short-term IR. ... Sabres LW Ville Leino is a former Red Wing. ... Buffalo C Kevin Porter was born in Detroit and played at the University of Michigan.