The Ayrshire side have now won five of their last seven SPL matches and leapfrogged Motherwell into fifth place.
Paatelainen said: "I was pleased with the way we played in the first half. We started really well, passed the ball well.
"I felt the slippy conditions with the ball skidding across the surface helped us pass the ball around.
"We scored two excellent goals, passing moves with plenty of positive runs. It was good composure from wide areas to find the player and good composed finishes.
"Liam Kelly has just signed a new contract and maybe that was a thank-you."
Paatelainen was also impressed with the assists from Gordon.
"It's something we pay attention to, when we get into crossing positions to actually find a player rather than just putting it into an area," the Finn said.
"Ben is an excellent young full-back who works very hard and causes teams problems."
Liam Miller was sent off following a long delay after the Irish midfielder clipped the heels of Conor Sammon as the Killie striker ran into the box before confusion reigned over the outcome.
Hibs boss Colin Calderwood had no problem with the delay but was surprised with the reason given for Miller's dismissal.
He said: "I think the decision was really whether it was in or outside the box and then whether it was the right person. The referee has deemed it as violent conduct.
"They are all part of the team so they are just making sure they get the right man. That's the way a team should operate.
"Whether it was the right decision, I haven't seen it again so I'm viewing it from behind. When I look at it I will give you a judgment but I was surprised he deemed it violent conduct."
Calderwood added: "It stopped us really pushing and allowing us to have time on the ball. I'm not saying we would have equalised but we might have made it a more exciting finish.
"We have spurned one or two good chances. Even in the first half there were one or two where we could have been more clinical or even a bit more lucky."