However, the Sabres were not able to get much going until the third period, and lost the game 2-1.
Mikael Samuelsson opened up the scoring for the Red Wings 12:05 into the first period with a tip-in, redirecting a shot from teammate Cory Emmerton past Sabres goalie Ryan Miller.
Shrotly after, Pavel Datsyuk gave the Red Wings a 2-0 lead merely 36 seconds later. After intercepting a pass in the Sabres zone from Sabres rookie defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen, Datsyuk let go a backhand shot from the slot that beat Ryan Miller up high to put the Red Wings up by two.
The Red Wings thought they had taken a 3-0 lead 11:25 into the second period when Todd Bertuzzi poked the puck past Miller from the slot. However, Red Wings forward Daniel Cleary was called for goalie interference after bumping Miller on the play, and the goal was waved off.
While the Sabres were not able to get much going during the first two periods, and unsuccessful on seven trips to the power play, the Sabres finally got on the board with 7:25 remaining in the game on rookie Zemgus Girgenson’s first career NHL goal. Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard misplayed the puck behind the net after a Sabres dump in, and Sabres forward Brian Flynn got a piece of the puck and redirected it in front of the net to Girgensons. Girgensons then backhanded the puck into the open net to cut the deficit to one goal.
However, the Sabres were unable to get the equalizer and dropped the first game of the season.
Ryan Miller finished the game with 32 saves on 34 shots, including one a penalty shot, while Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard stopped 19 of the 20 shots the Sabres sent his way.
With the loss, the Sabres open the season with a 0-1-0 record.
The Sabres next game is on Friday, Oct. 4 at home against the Ottawa Senators at 7 p.m. eastern time.