The Sabres are searching for their own identity after spending the past eight months turning over an aging roster. Buffalo's lineup featured five rookies on Friday.
The Sabres generated chances, but still lacked finish — particularly on the power play. Buffalo went 0 for 4 with the man-advantage after going 0 for 7 against Detroit.
"We competed right until the end of the game," forward Steve Ott said. "Unfortunately, we were on the wrong end of it tonight."
Credit both goalies, too, for putting on a clinic.
Miller was the busiest, and made the most acrobatic save in the waning seconds of the second period.
Senators newcomer Bobby Ryan faked a shot from the left boards and deftly slid a pass into the middle, where Jason Spezza redirected the puck toward the net. Miller anticipated the play and lunged out from his crease to make a diving glove save.
Anderson was sharp, too.
With 3:15 minutes left in the second period, he got across to stop Thomas Vanek's one-timer from the left circle. Midway through the first period, Anderson stopped Brian Flynn's initial shot from the right boards, and then got back in position to foil Mikhail Grigorenko's backhand from in close.
NOTES: The Senators open with six straight road games, and won't play their first game at Ottawa until Oct. 17 against New Jersey. ... Sabres D Henrik Tallinder did not return during the third period after sustaining what coach Ron Rolston called an upper body injury. ... With Alfredsson gone, Spezza made his debut as the team's eighth captain. ... The teams combined for 39 shots in the first period — the most since the Senators (19 shots) and Bruins (22) combined for 41 shots last April 2, according to STATS LLC.
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