|BUF||0||2||1||(0 - 0)||3|
|CAR||0||4||2||(0 - 0)||6|
Staal capped his night with an empty-net goal, giving the Hurricanes their first win of the season.
With the Hurricanes protecting a 4-3 lead in the third period, Pitkanen found Staal for a blast over the shoulder of Sabres goaltender Jhonas Enroth.
Jason Pominville had pulled Buffalo within one goal three minutes earlier when Thomas Vanek completed a beautiful give-and-go with the captain. Vanek cut to the slot before throwing a pass behind him to Pominville, who had a tap-in for his second goal of the night.
Carolina broke open a 2-2 game in the second period by scoring twice in nine seconds. The Hurricanes had scored two goals total in two losses to open the season.
Skinner gathered a loose puck behind the net and tucked it inside the right post at 13:56. Off the ensuing faceoff, Eric Staal broke free through the slot and slipped a backhander through Enroth's five-hole to give Carolina a 4-2 lead.
The Hurricanes started the second period with a purpose after the teams endured lulls through a scoreless first.
Skinner sent a backhander to the top shelf a little over one minute into the period, giving the Hurricanes their first lead of the season. Jordan Staal slipped a pass to an uncovered Skinner in front of the net. Zac Dalpe also earned an assist.
Carolina widened the lead to 2-0 when Justin Faulk found the net shorthanded. The play started when Jordan Staal broke up a diagonal pass in the Sabres offensive zone. Faulk carried the puck on a 3-on-1 and beat Enroth along the ice.
The Sabres scored a pair of goals less than two minutes apart. Cody Hodgson cut lead in half when he cleaned up a long rebound from Jordan Leopold's shot from the right point at 8:50. Moments later, Pominville tied the game from his knees -- Christian Ehrhoff fired to the slot, where Pominville reached out to redirected the puck past Ward at 10:39.
Neither team could find its offensive gear in the first period. Buffalo went 7:35 before registering a on goal and settled for six despite three full power plays. Carolina had plenty of jump in the first few shifts but managed seven first-period shots.
The teams move on to Buffalo on Friday night to complete a home-and-home series at First Niagra Center.
|Jeff Skinner (2) ASST: Jordan Staal (2), Zac Dalpe (1)|
1 - 0 CAR
|SHG - Justin Faulk (1) ASST: Jordan Staal (3)|
2 - 0 CAR
|Cody Hodgson (3) ASST: Jordan Leopold (1), Thomas Vanek (5)|
2 - 1 CAR
|Jason Pominville (2) ASST: Christian Ehrhoff (2), Alexander Sulzer (1)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Jeff Skinner (3) ASST: NONE|
3 - 2 CAR
|Eric Staal (1) ASST: Jamie McBain (1), Joni Pitkanen (2)|
4 - 2 CAR
|Jason Pominville (3) ASST: Thomas Vanek (6), Robyn Regehr (1)|
4 - 3 CAR
|Eric Staal (2) ASST: Joni Pitkanen (3)|
5 - 3 CAR
|EN - Eric Staal (3) ASST: Zac Dalpe (2)|
6 - 3 CAR
|Jeff Skinner Tripping against Andrej Sekera|
|Alexander Sulzer Holding against Jordan Staal|
|Drayson Bowman Boarding against Nathan Gerbe|
|Tyler Myers Holding against Eric Staal|
|Eric Staal Interference against Robyn Regehr|
|Patrick Dwyer Interference against Tyler Ennis|
|Tyler Myers Interference against Drayson Bowman|
|Chad LaRose Slashing against Steve Ott|
|Alexander Sulzer Roughing against Drayson Bowman|
|Jordan Staal Hooking against Alexander Sulzer|
|SA: 37||TOI: 59:55|
|Saves: 32||EV: 22 - 26|
|PIM: 0||PP: 7 - 7|
|SV%: .865||SH: 3 - 4|
|SA: 33||TOI: 59:48|
|Saves: 30||EV: 21 - 24|
|PIM: 0||PP: 8 - 8|
|SV%: .909||SH: 1 - 1|