DETROIT — Thomas Greiss made 40 saves, including 23 in the third period, to lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks at Little Caesars Arena on Saturday.
“He was excellent, especially in the third period,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said of Greiss, who was making his season debut. “I thought the chances were even in the first two periods, we might have even been a little ahead, but they really took it to us in the third.”
Robby Fabbri, Filip Zadina and Sam Gagner scored for Detroit (1-0-1), which blew a three-goal lead in the third period of a 7-6 overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
“We played pretty well in the first game, but we didn’t get the win, so we were really focused on getting this one,” Zadina said. “I thought we played really well as a team for the whole 60 minutes.”
Conor Garland scored, and Jaroslav Halak made 18 saves for Vancouver (1-1-1), which was coming off a 5-4 shootout win at the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday.
“When you get 41 shots and only score one goal, there’s more than one thing going on,” Canucks captain Bo Horvat said. “[Greiss] is an elite goaltender and he kept them in the game with some huge saves, but when you are facing someone playing like that, you have to find a way on the power play or something.”
Fabbri gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead at 11:05 of the first period when he redirected in a pass from Marc Staal. Fabbri was playing on the top line in place of center Dylan Larkin, who was serving a one-game suspension.
Garland tied it 1-1 at 4:56 of the second period, banking in a shot from a sharp angle off the side of Greiss’ mask, but Zadina made it 2-1 with a power-play goal at 6:42.
“We won the special teams tonight and that was the difference in the game,” Zadina said.
The Canucks almost tied the game at 6:45 of the third, but Greiss stopped a shot from Tucker Poolman before making point-blank saves on the rebound attempts by Horvat and Poolman.
Jack Rathbone then appeared to tie it with 2:31 remaining in regulation, but the goal was waved off because of goaltender interference on Nils Hoglander.
After Greiss made another key save on Horvat from the edge of the crease, Gagner shot into an empty net at 19:02 for the 3-1 final.
“I thought we played a pretty good game, especially in the third period, and probably deserved a point or two,” Vancouver coach Travis Green said. “Their goalie was just really good.”
The Canucks outshot the Red Wings 23-6 in the third period and had 37 shot attempts to Detroit’s eight.
“I thought we really made a push in the third period, but it was probably too late,” Garland said. “This one stings a little.”
NOTES: Red Wings rookie defenseman Moritz Seider had an assist, his third in two games, and played 22:55. … Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes played a game-high 29:09 after playing 26:46 against the Flyers on Friday.