On opening night, Dave Cameron pulled out his rulebook and the Senators pulled off the victory Thursday.

While the Senators bench boss used the new coach’s challenge to his advantage by having a third-period goal overturned, Ottawa was able to get the job done from there and the club achieved its goal of starting the season on the right note with a 3-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center.

In a game that was full of twists and turns, an apparent goal by Evander Kane — that would have tied the game 2-2 — was called back because Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons was offside with just 9:27 left in the game. That was only 1:23 after No. 2 pick Jack Eichel’s first NHL goal brought Buffalo to within one.

Assistant Jason Smith saw the offside and was one of the people who urged Cameron to challenge it with a replay.

“Smitty thought it might be offside and, at that point, we were back on our heels and we had nothing to lose,” said Cameron, who added the club couldn’t communicate with video coach Tim Pattyson because the radio on the bench was broken.

It turned out to be a pivotal move.

“It’s a great call. You could see clearly on the replay that it was offside,” said captain Erik Karlsson. “You couldn’t really see the play at the time because the game is fast out there but it’s a good way to get things right.”

Awarded the alternate’s ‘A’ before Game 1, centre Kyle Turris scored twice to lead the way, Curtis Lazar put it in an empty net while Craig Anderson made 26 stops as the Senators opened this two-game road trip with a victory against a Buffalo team that is expected to improve this season. The Sabres came charging hard in the third by outshooting Ottawa 14-4 and Rasmo Ristolainen hit the post with three minutes in the game.

“We played the first two road periods we wanted,” said Turris. “We played simple and we were aggressive in the offensive zone and not giving them much time to get going through the neutral zone.