Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Eric Staal recorded his 13th career hat trick
and Jeff Skinner added two more goals, as the Carolina Hurricanes doubled up
the Buffalo Sabres, 6-3, at PNC Arena.
Justin Faulk added a short-handed goal in Carolina's first win after dropping
its first two contests by a combined 9-2 margin. Cam Ward made 30 saves to
pick up the victory.
Jason Pominville netted two goals for the Sabres, while Jhonas Enroth,
starting in place of Ryan Miller, gave up five goals on 37 shots.
Miller was between the pipes in Buffalo's first two wins of the season and
will likely be in net in the back end of this home-and-home set on Friday.
Carolina scored twice in the first 4:06 of the second period after five
combined power plays failed to produce a goal in opening frame.
The first score came just 62 seconds in when Skinner top-shelfed a backhand
into the right corner. The Sabres started their fourth power play two minutes
later, but it was Jordan Staal who created an odd-man rush the other way with
a poke check. Faulk skated with the puck up the right side and took a slap
shot from the right circle that trickled under Enroth's pads.
At the 8:50 mark, Buffalo's Cody Hodgson scored for the third time in as many
games when he cleaned up a rebound in front, and Pominville redirected a
Christian Ehrhoff point shot to tie things just 1:49 later.
The Hurricanes responded with two goals in a nine-second span to regain
control. A turnover behind the net ended with a Skinner wraparound goal at
13:56, and a Jamie McBain stretch pass off a faceoff win led Eric Staal into
the offensive end, where we backhanded in his first goal of the year.
Pominville one-timed a pretty backhand feed from Thomas Vanek to cut the
deficit to 4-3 six minutes into the third period, but that was as close as
Joni Pitkanen, after creating a turnover, slid a cross-ice pass to Eric Staal
for a wrister that found the back of the net at 9:26, and the captain sealed
his hat trick with an empty-netter with 1:28 remaining.
The Sabres have not won three in a row to begin a season since going 4-0 in
2008-09 ... Buffalo went 0-for-6 on the power play, while Carolina failed on
its four chances with the man advantage ... Jordan Staal, Pitkanen and Zac
Dalpe each had two assists for Carolina, while Vanek had two helpers for the
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