Coming off their first victory of the season, the Carolina Hurricanes aim for a sweep of a home-and-home series on Friday night with the hosting Buffalo Sabres.
The Hurricanes were outscored 9-2 in dropping their first two games of the season at the Florida Panthers and at home versus the Tampa Bay Lightning. They then found the win column on Thursday with a 6-3 decision over the visiting Sabres.
Following a scoreless first period, Jeff Skinner and Justin Faulk (shorthanded) scored to give Carolina a 2-0 edge early in the second before Buffalo responded with goals from Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville.
However, Skinner and Eric Staal scored just nine seconds apart late in the second and the Hurricanes never trailed.
"It's big to get that first win. You don't want to go too long without it," said Skinner.
Staal scored twice more in the third to record his 13th career hat trick and passed Kevin Dineen (250) for second place on the club's all-time goals list. Staal now has 253 career goals, 129 behind the franchise's all-time leading scorer Ron Francis.
Cam Ward made 30 saves in the victory.
"The guys were ready to play tonight," Staal said. "We competed hard on pucks, (Ward) made some big saves for us and (Skinner) had some big goals early. Those were all key factors so it was a good win for us."
Pominville scored twice for the Sabres and has seven points through his first three games. That is just behind Thomas Vanek, who logged a pair of assists on Thursday and is the first Buffalo player in team history to record eight points in the first three games of the season.
Hodgson scored in a third straight game for the first time in his career and Jhonas Enroth allowed five goals on 37 shots in his first start of the season. No. 1 netminder Ryan Miller had picked up a victory in Buffalo's first two games, but the club was denied its first 3-0 start since 2008-09 and next hopes for a quick turnaround.
"It's good we have a short time in between games so we have a chance to make up for today," Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff said.
The Sabres and Hurricanes have split their four-game series in each of the previous five seasons.