RALEIGH -- It took the Carolina Hurricanes two games to score their first two goals of the season.
It took the Canes nine seconds Thursday to score two. That came in a big offensive second period as Carolina topped the Buffalo Sabres 6-3 at PNC Arena for their first victory of the season.
Eric Staal had a hat trick, and Jeff Skinner scored a pair of goals as the Canes rebounded from two tough losses to begin the season. Justin Faulk had a shorthanded goal, Cam Ward some timely stops in goal and the Canes were gritty enough.
"We challenged the guys (Wednesday), starting with Cam," Canes coach Kirk Muller said. "It was great to see how we responded. It's tough for goalies starting off the season (and) all the onus goes on them, but he had a great game. The guys played really hard in front of him and our big boys came up with big games."
It won't take long for the two teams to tangle again. They face off again Friday in Buffalo to finish up the home-and-home back-to-back set.
"We liked some good things we did the first two games," Staal said. "Obviously we needed to get more physical in our end and more physical one-on-one with our puck battles. We had a good practice (Wednesday) and the guys were ready to play.
"We competed hard on pucks, 'Wardo' made some big saves for us and 'Skins' had some big goals early for us."
After a scoreless first period, the Hurricanes scored four times in the second for a 4-2 lead.
Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville scored for the Sabres in the second. And when Pominville scored again, off a pass from Thomas Vanek, Buffalo pulled within 4-3 with almost 14 minutes left in regulation.
But Eric Staal's second goal of the game, with 10:34 left, pushed the Canes ahead 5-3. Staal scored after a takeaway by defenseman Joni Pitkanen, who passed to Staal in the right circle for a one-timer.
Skinner gave the Canes their first lead of the season with an even-strength goal, flipping a backhander off goalie Jhonas Enroth and into the net at 1:02 of the second. The goal came after a delayed penalty against the Sabres.
The Canes' Pat Dwyer was called for interference two minutes later, but Faulk scored shorthanded on a three-on-two rush, rifling a shot from the right side at 4:06.
The Sabres bounced back on a goal by Cody Hodgson, his third of the season, at 8:50 of the second. When Jason Pominville redirected a Christian Ehrhoff shot, the Sabres had forced a 2-2 tie.
But Skinner and Staal then scored nine seconds apart to push the Canes back into the lead. Skinner scored on a wrapround stuff with 6:04 left in the second. Staal then won the draw after the goal, raced into the Sabres zone and beat Enroth with a five-hole backhander with 5:55 left.
The Canes didn't trail after the first period this game -- a first this season.
The Canes and Sabres, in the first of a back-to-back, home-and-home set, are scoreless after the opening period at PNC Arena. The Canes had better scoring chances but goalie Jhonas Enroth turned away all seven Canes shots.
Eric Staal tested Enroth on his first shift, sweeping in from the right wing for a quick wrister. Later, on the Canes' first power play of the period, Alex Semin rifled a shot from the left side, the puck glancing off Enroth's glove and sliding just wide of the post.
The penalty killers on both teams got the job done in the first. Buffalo had three power plays in the period, managing just two shots, and the Canes had two power plays.
Cam Ward, starting in goal for the Canes, faced six shots in the first. Enroth is making his first start of the season after Ryan Miller -- who will be in net for Buffalo in Friday's game -- played the first two games.
In Carolina first two games, the Canes trailed 4-0 after the first period against the Florida Panthers and then 2-0 Tuesday against Tampa Bay in the home opener.