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Hurricanes 6, Sabres 3

The SportsXchange

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Eric Staal's hat trick capped an offensive outburst for the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Hurricanes, who managed a total of two goals across their first two games, scored four times in about a 13-minute span of the second period in a 6-3 victory against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night at PNC Arena.

Jeff Skinner scored two goals as the Hurricanes won for the first time this season. Staal's empty-net goal with 1:28 left gave him his third tally.

The Sabres (2-1), who were attempting to start a season with a 3-0 record for the fifth time in franchise history, received two goals from Jason Pominville. Jhonas Enroth was in goal for Buffalo, giving top goalie Ryan Miller the night off.

Carolina goalie Cam Ward stopped 30 shots, including a key stop with close to six minutes remaining on a Buffalo power play.

Skinner scored 62 seconds into the second period, giving the Hurricanes (1-2) a lead for the first time this season.

About three minutes later, the Hurricanes went end-to-end with defenseman Justin Faulk scoring in transition for a shorthanded tally.

Buffalo struck back before the midway mark of the second period, with Cody Hodgson making an easy deposit of a rebound for his team-leading third goal of the season.

After Pominville's redirect of Christian Ehrhoff's blast tied the score, Skinner and Eric Staal scored in a nine-second span and Carolina had its two-goal edge back.

It had been six-plus years since the Hurricanes notched two goals within nine seconds.

Pominville closed the gap to 4-3 before Staal's second goal with 10:34 to play.

The Hurricanes took the game's first six shots on goal, but came up empty. The first period ended scoreless, marking the first time in three games that Carolina didn't yield a first-period goal.

NOTES: Right wing Drew Stafford played in his 400th career game, all coming with the Sabres, on Thursday night. He's the fourth player on the current Buffalo roster to play 400 or more games with the team. ... Center Zac Dalpe, who was a healthy scratch two nights earlier against Tampa Bay, assisted on the Hurricanes' first goal against Buffalo. ... Defenseman Joe Corvo was a healthy scratch for the Hurricanes. He was replaced in the lineup by defenseman Jamie McBain, who made his season debut. ... Left wing Matt Ellis sat out for the Sabres after playing the first two games. ... The teams complete a home-and-home set Friday night in Buffalo, N.Y.
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