Wendel Clark was glad to once again play in a town where hockey matters. Chris Chelios admitted to a bad case of butterflies. Both were ecstatic that their first game as Detroit Red Wings ended in victory.
Clark scored in his Detroit debut and Sergei Fedorov added the game-winning goal as the revamped Red Wings beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 Wednesday night.
Clark and Chelios are two of the four players the Red Wings obtained in trading deadline deals Tuesday to bolster the team's chances for a third straight Stanley Cup.
The other new acquisitions, goaltender Bill Ranford and defenseman Ulf Samuelsson, were scratched.
"It's great to be back in hockey country," said Clark, obtained from Tampa Bay. "It's like being in Toronto. It's a place where everyone cares and gets enthusiastic this time of year."
Chelios, a long-time Red Wings nemesis, was dealt to Detroit when he waived a no-trade clause in his contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. The Joe Louis Arena fans who always booed him as an opponent welcomed him as a Red Wing.
"I haven't had butterflies like that for years," said Chelios, a perennial all-star defenseman who played more than 25 minutes over 28 shifts Wednesday night. "It was a pretty strange feeling."
Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman wasted no time getting Chelios and Clark on the ice. Chelios started with Nicklas Lidstrom on the blue line and Clark started on a line with Steve Yzerman and Martin Lapointe.
"We're Detroit Red Wings now and part of this team. It's a great feeling," Chelios said. "It's a challenge; it's a great challenge. Playing for the Stanley Cup is the most important thing in this game."
Fdorov broke a 1-1 tie 8:09 into the third period after the rebound of Doug Brown's shot came to him in the left circle. As Brown skipped out of his way, Fedorov fired a shot into the left side of the net for his 21st goal.
The Red Wings are 16-2-2 when Fedorov scores and 17-25-4 when he doesn't.
The win was just the fourth in 13 games for the Red Wings, who moved five points ahead of St. Louis for first place in the Central Division.
| Chris Chelios contributed in his first game with the Red Wings. (AP)|
Joe Juneau, playing his second game for Buffalo after he was traded Monday from Washington, scored the Sabres' goal.
"He's made some nice plays for us," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "He's a guy we can use in every aspect of the game. He gives us some depth."
The loss ended a four-game unbeaten streak for the Sabres (3-0-1), who played without all-star goalie Dominik Hasek. Ruff said Hasek, who was scratched after twisting his upper back Tuesday during a 1-1 tie with New Jersey, will return for the Sabres' next game.
"He felt strong enough to play and wanted to play," Ruff said.
Chris Osgood made 24 saves in the Detroit net. Dwayne Roloson stopped 28 shots for Buffalo.
Clark scored his 29th goal to break a scoreless tie 6:11 into the second period when he deflected Lidstrom's slap shot past Roloson.
"I got a lucky bounce," Clark said. "You'll take those whenever you get them."
Juneau responded with 1:59 left in the period after Osgood fell in front of the net during a goal-mouth scramble. Brendan Shanahan tried to cover the net but couldn't stop Juneau's blast from the left slot.
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