Cam Ward stopped 32 shots for Carolina, which played its fifth of nine straight games against division opponents.
Marian Hossa scored two goals for Atlanta, including one about 5 minutes into the third period that trimmed Carolina’s lead to 4-3. Eric Staal’s rebound shot with only 1:36 left ended Atlanta’s comeback hopes.
Justin Williams and Cory Stillman also scored for Carolina, which bounced back from a 5-1 loss to Tampa Bay on Thursday.
Pavelec stopped 34 shots but lost for the first time in four starts. Pavelec led the Thrashers to a three-game winning streak, allowing one goal in each of the last two victories over Washington and Florida.
After an 0-6 start which cost coach Bob Hartley his job, the Thrashers are 7-4 with general manager Don Waddell behind the bench.
The Hurricanes again made the most of their power play.
Carolina is second in the NHL, converting 25 percent of its power-play chances. Atlanta is last on the penalty kill, giving up goals almost 29 percent of their short-handed situations.
Carolina scored on two straight power plays. Atlanta led 1-0 on a goal by Eric Perrin 2:33 in before Brind’Amour answered in the final second of a power play late in the first period.
Atlanta opened the second-period scoring with a short-handed goal by Hossa, who dumped the puck into the net as Ward was sprawled on the ice defending a shot by Perrin.
About 30 seconds later on the same power play, the Hurricanes pulled even at 2-2 when Justin Williams deflected a shot by Staal past Pavelec.
Carolina took a 3-2 lead in the second period on Brind’Amour’s second goal, this time at even strength. Stillman scored 2:58 into the third period to push the lead to 4-2.
Hossa’s second goal, just over 2 minutes later, cut the lead to one goal.
Notes: Brind’Amour has points in 14 of 17 games, including each of the team’s 10 wins. ... The short-handed goal was Atlanta’s third of the season. ... Ray Whitney had two assists for Carolina, giving him points in nine straight games.