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Thrashers winning streak ends at three
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ATLANTA — Rod Brind’Amour scored two goals and Southeast Division-leading Carolina beat defending champion Atlanta 5-3 on Saturday night, giving Thrashers rookie goalie Ondrej Pavelec his first loss.

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.

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