- The Washington Times - Friday, April 3, 2009

SUNRISE, FLA. (AP) - Rich Peverley scored his second goal of the game in the third period to break a tie and lift the Atlanta Thrashers to a 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Friday night.

Todd White added a goal for the Thrashers with 1:03 left as Panthers goalie Craig Anderson headed to the bench. Colby Armstrong had two assists for Atlanta, which earned its fourth straight win and fifth in six games.

Gregory Campbell scored the lone goal for Florida, which missed a chance to tie the eighth-place New York Rangers in points at the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Panthers haven’t qualified for the postseason since 2000.

The Thrashers have already been eliminated from playoff contention but have served as spoilers down the stretch. Atlanta beat 10th-place Buffalo 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday night and knocked off the Rangers in a shootout on March 26.

Johan Hedberg made 35 saves for the Thrashers.

Anderson, making his fourth consecutive start in place of Tomas Vokoun, stopped 29 shots.

Peverley, who had gone 10 games without a goal, gave Atlanta a 2-1 lead with 8:54 left in the third period. His wrist shot from close range went over Anderson’s left shoulder. Peverley opened the scoring at 2:23 of the second with a wrist shot from the slot that beat Anderson to the short side.

Campbell scored at 6:17 of the second to tie it 1-1. Hedberg stopped Campbell’s initial shot, but Campbell backhanded the puck in from a sharp angle near the net for his first goal since Feb. 12. It snapped a 23-game drought.

Notes:@ Atlanta D Boris Valabik returned to the ice for the first time since March 17. He had missed six games with an upper body injury. … Midway through the first period, a shot from David Booth bounced off Hedberg and Panthers rookie Michael Frolik, who batted the puck in with a high stick. The goal was disallowed. … Atlanta LW Ilya Kovalchuk had his five-game goal streak end.

(This version CORRECTS Thrashers 3, Panthers 1; DELETES reference to empty-net goal; corrects Hedberg’s saves.)

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