The Red Wings scored the game's first five goals in their season opener and held off a late charge by the Senators.
All the Detroit goals were surrendered by Craig Anderson, who put together a 24-20 record last season in his first year with the Senators. This is Anderson's ninth year in the NHL and he is with his fourth team.
Todd Bertuzzi scored the only goal of the first period with 3:59 remaining and Nicklas Lidstrom tallied 1:39 into the second. Emmerton and Hudler came through with their goals midway through the second and Ian White finished off the Detroit scoring 3:12 into the third.
Howard made 29 saves and Anderson stopped 34 shots.
The game was the first as Ottawa coach for Paul MacLean, who took over the Senators after Cory Clouston was fired. Ottawa missed the playoffs for the second time in three seasons last year and finished last in the Northeast Division.