Eric Staal recorded his 13th career hat trick and Jeff Skinner scored twice to propel the Hurricanes past Buffalo, 6-3. Here's a closer look at Thursday's game.

Three Observations

1. Jiri Tlusty rightfully regained his spot on Carolina's top line, and it seemed to make a huge difference. Grouped with Eric Staal and Alexander Semin, Tlusty didn't come away with any points but seemed to be the glue needed to get the captain going. His versatility he can finish or set up a goal, play down low or on the perimeter makes him a perfect fit for the rangy Staal and ultra-skilled Semin.

2. It was a bounce-back night for Joni Pitkanen and Cam Ward. Both were roundly criticized for their efforts thus far this season, but seemed to regain form against Buffalo. Pitkanen was a team-best plus-4, registered two assists, and arguably made the biggest play of the night. With Buffalo pulling within one goal, 4-3, in the third, Pitkanen perfectly timed an offensive zone pinch and pilfered the puck from Jason Pominville. He then cruised below the faceoff dot and found Eric Staal with a cross-ice pass that the captain fired past Jhonas Enroth. As for Ward, he made timely stops and made just one mistake allowing a rebound on a Jordan Leopold shot that Cody Hodgson deposited for Buffalo's first goal.