OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators seemed to know they were finally going to get their first win of the season despite losing their starting goalie minutes into the game and then blowing a two-goal lead.
"Sometimes it's easier just to hop in there when the adrenaline's pumping to get the legs going," Elliott said. "Your alertness is high but the guys did a good job keeping everything from the outside and I had to make a couple of saves early, just to get me in the game, and we went from there."
Fisher drove a slap shot from the slot past Cam Ward to restore Ottawa's one-goal lead after Carolina scored goals 1:39 apart earlier in the period to tie it at 2.
Milan Michalek also scored for the Senators, 1-2-1 in their first four games.
"Just the confidence we had before the game and during the game I think we knew we were going to win, no matter what," Elliott said. "So when you get that feeling, that's what you want and that's what you work for. Hopefully we can keep that swagger and be confident going forward."
Cam Ward stopped 36 shots for Carolina, which made its North American debut six days after completing a sweep of its season-opening, two-game series against Minnesota in Finland.
"We've had time to adjust to the East Coast time zone again and had a couple of good practices before we headed out here to Ottawa," Ward said. "I don't think you'll find anybody using that as an excuse."
Leclaire had made three saves when he left 2:06 in after a goalmouth collision with Hurricanes forward Tom Kostopoulos.
Fisher opened the scoring when his high shot got behind Ward 17:39 into the first for his first goal of the season.
Samsonov, who made his season debut, drew the Hurricanes within 2-1 when he beat Elliott after taking Staal's set-up pass 21 seconds after Michalek was called for interference.
Staal tied it at 2 when he steered Erik Cole's pass beyond Elliott at 8:59.
"Tonight we just weren't moving," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said. "We just didn't have any jump so we left it to our goaltender to bail us out of some of the strange decisions that we made and he did so that's how you get a chance to win games when you're not good and we weren't very good."
- Samsonov sustained a neck injury in a preseason game against Atlanta on Sept. 25 and did not accompany Carolina on its season-opening trip to Russia and Finland.
- Alfredsson's assist was his 994th career point.