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Red Wings top Sabres in NHL season opener

October 3, 2013

DETROIT (AP) — Pavel Datsyuk and Mikael Samuelsson scored 36 seconds apart midway through the first period to lift the Detroit Red Wings past the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 Wednesday in the NHL season-opener for both teams.

Elsewhere, the Toronto Maple Leafs improved to 2-0 on the new season with a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers and the Colorado Avalanche routed the Anaheim Ducks 6-1 in Patrick Roy’s debut as head coach.

Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard made 19 saves in the Red Wings’ first game in the Eastern Conference after moving from the West as part of the NHL’s realignment plan this season.

Zemgus Girgensons scored with 7:24 left in the game to pull the Sabres to within a goal, but Buffalo couldn’t get the equalizer.

Buffalo also couldn’t take advantage during a two-man power play for 1:31 early in the first period and for 51 seconds late in the second.

Dave Bolland scored twice and Phil Kessel added a goal for the Maple Leafs, who followed up their season-opening win over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday with a victory in Philadelphia.

Jonathan Bernier stopped 31 shots for the Maple Leafs.

Toronto acquired Bolland and Bernier in the offseason to bolster their bid to make a run in the Eastern Conference playoffs this season.

In Denver, Semyon Varlamov made 35 saves and Jamie McGinn scored two goals for the Avalanche.

Ryan O’Reilly, John Mitchell, Matt Duchene and Steve Downie also had goals, while Alex Tanguay, back with Colorado for the first time since the 2005-06 season, had three assists.

Viktor Fasth struggled for Anaheim, allowing three goals in the second period.

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