Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa each scored in the first period and the Blackhawks lead 2-0 after two periods at PNC Arena.
Sharp took a stretch pass from Michal Handzus, split the defense and scored on a breakaway, beating goalie Cam Ward with a high glove-side shot. It was the first goal of the season for Sharp, who was the MVP in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game at PNC Arena.
Hossas goal came just after a Chicago power play expired. The Blackhawks maintained the offensive pressure, and when Canes defenseman Brett Bellemore first blocked a shot, then fanned on the puck trying to clear, Hossa gobbled it up and scored on a quick handhander in traffic with 9:42 left in the first.
Canes coach Kirk Muller used his timeout at that point, looking to regroup.
The Canes had just five shots in the opening period but nearly scored 18 seconds into the game. Jiri Tlusty, playing on Jordan Staals line, whipped the puck toward the net from a tight angle and goalie Corey Crawford barely managed to squeeze his pads tight enough to prevent a score.
Crawford nearly misplayed another puck later in the first when Eric Staals centering pass forced Crawford to make a tougher-than-expected save.
Much of the first period was played in the Canes end as the Blackhawks were able to maintain puck possession and had a 15-5 shooting edge.
The Canes were more aggressively offensively in the second as Andrej Sekera and Alex Semin got early shots on net, then Eric Staal soon got off a shot with Tuomo Ruutu crashing the net. Carolina had a couple of power plays in the period -- negating the first with a penalty for too many men on the ice -- and alertly picked off some Chicago passes in the neutral zone to push the puck back in the Blackhawks zone.
The Blackhawks nearly scored in the final seconds of the second period but Ward made the stops.