SUNRISE (CBS4) – The Florida Panthers are only a few points out of being int he final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. But, they ran into a buzzsaw on Wednesday night in the form of the Atlanta Thrashers.

Rich Peverley scored twice and Ondrej Pavelec made 33 saves in the Atlanta Thrashers’ 3-2 victory over Florida. Niclas Bergfors also scored to help Atlanta win for only the third time in its last eight games (3-4-1). Andrew Ladd had two assists. Chris Higgins had a goal and an assist and Stephen Weiss added a goal for Florida.

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The Panthers lost in regulation for only the second time in nine games (5-2-2).

Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun came into the game third in the NHL in save percentage, but was pulled after Peverley’s second goal at 6:27 of the second period. Vokoun gave up three goals on 15 shots.

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Peverley’s first goal came on a 5-on-3 power play and gave Atlanta a 2-1 lead with 31 seconds left in the first. Peverley skated around defenseman Mike Weaver and put in his own rebound with a backhander. Peverley made it 3-1 when he beat Vokoun on a 2-on-1 rush with a long wrist shot over the goalie’s right shoulder.

Later in the third period, Peverley had a great opportunity for his first career hat trick when he came in on a breakaway. But Vokoun’s replacement, Scott Clemmensen, made a glove save on Peverley’s wrist shot.

Atlanta failed to score on a 5-minute power play early in the third period after Shawn Matthias was called for boarding. Florida actually had the best scoring chance during those 5 minutes when Marty Reasoner came in alone on Pavelec. He tried to slip a backhander between Pavelec’s legs, but the goalie made a stick save.

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