The Hurricanes had scored only two goals coming into the game, but they were able to find the back of the net on more than one occasion on Thursday.
Eric Staal’s hat trick was too much for the Sabres to overcome in Carolina, and ended up being the difference as the Hurricanes won by a 6-3 score.
Lindy Ruff’s decision to start Jhonas Enroth may have haunted him in this game, despite the goaltender’s impressive stats against Carolina in the past.
Enroth stopped 32 of 37 shots on the night as the Sabres recorded their first loss of the season. At the other end, Cam Ward let in three goals on 33 shots, helping Carolina earn its first win of the season.
After no scoring in the opening period, the game opened up as Jeff Skinner and Justin Faulk got the Canes on the board.
Skinner beat Enroth from point blank with a backhander that went off the crossbar and Faulk upped the Hurricanes lead with a shorthanded goal that went through the five hole of Enroth.
Down 2-0, the Sabres quickly responded.
Cody Hodgson scored his third goal in as many games to cut the Carolina lead in half. Hodgson had never had a goal in consecutive games prior to this season with Buffalo.
Jason Pominville redirected a blast from Christian Ehrhoff that found its way past Cam Ward, knotting the game at two.
The Hurricanes stormed back out to a 4-2 lead after scoring twice in nine seconds.
In the third period, Thomas Vanek’s backhanded pass set up Jason Pominville for a one-timer goal that brought the Sabres back within one.
The Sabres went 0-6 on the power play and gave up a shorthanded goal on the night.
Vanek has been on the ice for all 10 goals the Sabres have scored this season. Vanek is also the first player to record eight points in the team’s first three games of a season.
These two teams will be back at it tomorrow at the First Niagara Center. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m.