ATLANTA -- Eric Staal and Bryan Little played a game-with-in-a-game, and Staal won.
Little got a hat trick first, but Staal's third-period hat trick gave his team the win, 5-4.
Staal scored his first goal on the power play seven minutes into the third with the Canes trailing 3-2. His goal tied it, but not for long.
Little quickly responded with his third goal of the night to put the Atlanta Thrashers back on top.
Cue Staal, whose unassisted goal 10:42 into the period tied the game. And less than two minutes later, Staal got yet another — and it held up for the win.
Little scored two power-play goals in the last 1:46 of the second period to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead.
Little scored the second goal with just 2.5 seconds left in the period on a backhand. His first came on a redirection of a Ron Hainsey shot.
Patrick Eaves' first goal of the season had given the Canes a 2-1 lead. Eaves, playing his 30th game, scored on a backhand feed from Ray Whitney at 5:58 of the second.
It was Whitney's second assist of the game as he extended his point streak to five games.
The Thrashers tied it late in the second with their second power-play goal fo the game. Bryan Little redirected a shot by Ron Hainsey past cam Ward at 18:14.
Chad LaRose's goal with 1:04 left in the first period gave the Canes a 1-1 tie. LaRose picked up his eighth goal of the season and his first in 12 games by knocking a rebound of a Frank Kaberle shot past Johan Hedberg.
The Thrashers, after managing one shot on goal in the first eight minutes, took a 1-0 lead on Todd White's power-play goal at 10:58.
The Thrashers had four shots on the power play, with White scoring on the rebound of Ron Hainsey's blast from the point. The goal came after the Canes' Scott Walker was called for goalie interference at 10:11.
Dennis Seidenberg and Niclas Wallin are scratches, leaving the Canes with five defensemen in the lineup. Seidenberg participated in the pregame skate Friday but was pulled from the lineup because of illness.
The Canes lost Walker late in the first when the forward was hit in the face on another Hainsey shot. He returned for the start of the second period.