When it was over Saturday, when the Carolina Hurricanes had beaten the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-3 and ended a troubling four-game losing streak, Tuomo Ruutu had a poignant point to make.

"It's great to win," the Canes forward said, "but the one thing we must remember from this is how hard you have to play, how hard you have to work to win these games."

This night, it took everything the Hurricanes had. It took two goals from Ruutu and a goal and two assists from a hard-charging Jeff Skinner. It took another big game in goal from Cam Ward, who had 37 saves and some super stops, and some brutally physical work all over the ice.

Most of all, it took the captain.

Eric Staal had not scored a goal in 10 games and had not notched a point in the past seven. But after the Penguins rallied in the third, scoring three times for a 3-3 tie, Staal stood tall.

He stuffed in the rebound of a Chad LaRose shot with 4:34 left in regulation for a 4-3 lead. Staal, playing on the wing for the first time this season, then assisted on LaRose's goal that sealed it with 2:30 left.