Stars fall to Thrashers in OT

By CHARLES ODUM

AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA (AP) Ondrej Pavelec, Rich
Peverley and the Atlanta Thrashers didn’t give up after allowing a
devastating tying goal to the Dallas Stars at the end of regulation.

Peverley scored his second goal of
the game only 1:16 into overtime, and Pavelec stopped 42 shots to help
the Thrashers beat Dallas 6-5 on Thursday night for their first home
win over the Stars.

Peverley, who added an assist, said credit for the win belonged to Pavelec.

“Our goalie was outstanding tonight,” Peverley said, adding Pavelec’s play in the net “may be the best performance all year.”

Stephane Robidas, who had two goals
and an assist for Dallas, didn’t know much about the 22-year-old
Pavelec before the only game of the season between the teams.

“Whatever his name is, he got some
incredible saves tonight,” said Robidas after Pavelec earned his first
win since Nov. 27 at Carolina.

Pavelec and veteran Johan Hedberg
have shared the goaltender position as the Thrashers await the return
of Kari Lehtonen, who has had two back surgeries.

Pavelec at times seemed to have too little help on defense as the Stars outshot the Thrashers 47-25.

“I didn’t like our game overall, but I loved our competitiveness,” Thrashers coach John Anderson said.

Pavelec’s collection of glove saves,
deflections and other stops seemed to be too little when Loui Eriksson
scored for the Stars with only 1:12 remaining in regulation. The goal,
which tied the game at 5-5, came only 9 seconds after Dallas coach Marc
Crawford pulled goalie Marty Turco for an extra attacker.

Pavelec said Eriksson’s shot deflected off the shield on Eriksson’s helmet into the net.

“It hit him in the face and went
straight into the net,” Pavelec said. “It definitely was off his
facemask. Those things happen.”

Peverley’s winner came on a tip-in. He also scored a short-handed goal in the third period.

“We showed a lot of character tonight,” Pavelec said. “We needed six goals for the win, but it is huge for us.”

The Thrashers improved to 2-10 in
the series, including 1-5 in Atlanta. The Thrashers’ only other win
over the Stars came on Jan. 18, 2006, at Dallas.

Maxim Afinogenov scored on a
put-back on Atlanta’s power play for a 4-4 tie. Ilya Kovalchuk, Jim
Slater and Nik Antropov also scored for the Thrashers.

“They have shooters, and when you
have a team like that, you have to match it,” Robidas said. “That’s not
the way we want to play.”

The Stars fell to 4-11 in overtime games. Seven of the losses have come in shootouts.

Special teams accounted for most of
the scoring. The Thrashers scored three goals on their power play. The
Stars had two power-play goals by Robidas and added only their second
short-handed goal of the season.

Robidas added an assist but couldn’t celebrate his three points. “In a losing game it’s unimportant,” he said.

The game was tied 4-4 in the third
period when a hooking call against Atlanta’s Christoph Schubert left
Anderson fuming on the bench and set up a Dallas power play.

After Pavelec made a stop against
Robidas, Armstrong set up Peverley’s short-handed goal for a 5-4 lead
with 7:14 remaining in regulation.

Turco stopped seven shots after replacing Alex Auld in the second period.

Jamie Benn and Jere Lehtinen also scored for Dallas.

NOTES: The Stars outshot the
Thrashers 17-6 in the first period, 16-9 in the second and 14-9 in the
third. … The Thrashers are 5-3 in overtime games. … C Brian
Sutherby was a healthy scratch for Dallas. … Slater’s goal was his
first of the season.

Updated December 17, 2009