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Peverley, Pavelec help Thrashers down Panthers

Jan 6, 2011 - 4:54 AM
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Rich Peverley scored a pair of goals and Ondrej Pavelec stopped 33 shots as Atlanta nipped Florida, 3-2, at BankAtlantic Center.

Niclas Bergfors also tallied and Andrew Ladd posted a pair of assists for the Thrashers, who have won three of four.

"I thought we did a pretty good job of managing the game, obviously," said Peverley. "We had a pretty good second period keeping the puck in their zone and making the most of our chances."

Stephen Weiss and Chris Higgins tallied for the Panthers, who had won their previous two coming into the contest.

Tomas Vokoun started but was pulled after yielding three goals on 15 shots. Scott Clemmensen shut the door over the final 32 minutes, making 16 stops.

Florida forward Shawn Matthias was given a major for boarding at 1:44 of the third period. Panthers penalty-killer Marty Reasoner had the best chance for either club during the advantage, but his open backhander was turned aside by Pavelec to keep it a two-goal margin.

Higgins brought the home team within 3-2 when 7:21 remained in regulation as he broke in alone and managed to get a shot through Pavelec's pads. The Panthers then appeared to have tied the game when Bryan McCabe's shot with 6:22 left somehow got through Pavelec and settled in the mesh behind the left post.

Despite mild protests from Florida skaters, the goal was not reviewed.

"It looks like a goal to me. I'm baffled as to why the referees, who need to make certain, didn't go on to the penalty box to ask to take a look at it," said Panthers head coach Peter DeBoer. "They looked at everything else. I got no explanation from them other than they said if it was close, Toronto would have buzzed them and they never got a buzz."

Peverley was denied a chance for his first three-goal game after Clemmensen robbed him with the glove as time wound down. The home team went with an extra skater for the final 1:34 to no avail.

Bergfors rang a shot off the post that trickled behind Vokoun with 7:08 left in the first period to give the visitors a lead.

Weiss slipped a wrister through Pavelec's pads for a 1-1 game with 5:44 to play in the period, but Peverley's rebound score during a late 5-on-3 advantage gave Atlanta the 2-1 edge after one.

Peverley notched his second of the game at 6:27 of the second period by ripping a shot from the left wing over Vokoun's shoulder. The Panthers netminder was pulled for Clemmensen thereafter.

Game Notes

Peverley's last two-goal game occurred on November 26 against Montreal...Ladd posted his ninth multi-point effort of the season...Atlanta returns home to host Toronto on Friday...Higgins' tally was his 100th career score...Florida welcomes Carolina also on Friday.