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Stevenson, Pavelec lead Thrashers to preseason win

(AP) — Grant Stevenson scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Atlanta Thrashers to a 4-2 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night in the NHL preseason opener for both teams.

After backstopping the Chicago Wolves to the Calder Cup championship in 2008, Ondrej Pavelec played the entire game in goal for the Thrashers and looked strong, finishing with 36 saves.

Garnet Exelby and Junior Lessard also scored for Atlanta, while Kevin Klein and Ryan Jones scored for Nashville.

Stevenson played in 47 regular season and five playoff games for the San Jose Sharks in the 2005-06 season, and is looking to return to the NHL after playing the last two seasons in the American Hockey League. Stevenson finished 10th in the AHL in scoring in 2007-08, recording 30 goals and 43 assists for 73 points in 80 games for the Quad City Flames.

Jones, who made his professional debut with the Houston Aeros at the end of the 2007-08 season, scored on a deflection of Klein’s slap shot from the right point. The former Miami University standout was acquired in an offseason trade with the Minnesota Wild, and is a strong candidate to compete for a spot on one of Nashville’s top offensive lines.