It's not often a goaltender allows five pucks to get past him and receives the type of praise Ondrej Pavelec of the Atlanta Thrashers did Thursday night.
Pavelec held the Thrashers in the game as they were outshot 47-25 by the visiting Dallas Stars and still came away with a wild, 6-5 overtime victory thanks to Rich Peverley's second goal of the night at 1:16 of the extra period.
"Our goalie was outstanding tonight," said Peverley, who beat Marty Turco with a tip for the winning goal and finished with a three-point game. He added Pavelec's play in the net "may be the best performance all year."
Ilya Kovalchuk, Jim Slater, Nik Antropov and Maxim Afinogenov also scored for the Thrashers. Kovalchuk, Antropov and Afinogenov all netted power-play goals, and Peverley added a shorthanded tally with 7:14 left in the third to give Atlanta a 5-4 lead.
Loui Eriksson forced overtime for the Stars with an unorthodox goal in the closing minutes. Just seconds after Turco was pulled for a sixth attacker, a shot went off the face shield of Eriksson and beat Pavelec with 1:12 remaining.
"It hit him in the face and went straight into the net," Pavelec said. "It definitely was off his facemask. Those things happen."
Stephane Robidas scored a pair of power-play goals for Dallas, which also got a shorthanded goal from Jere Lehtinen and an even-strength tally by Jamie Benn. The veteran Robidas may not have had the book on Lehtonen, but he certainly left Philips Arena impressed by the young goalie.
"Whatever his name is, he got some incredible saves tonight," Robidas said.
It was only the second time in franchise history the Thrashers beat the Stars, who have now won 10 of 12 all-time meetings. Their other win came Jan. 18, 2006, in Dallas.
"We showed a lot of character tonight," Pavelec said. "We needed six goals for the win, but it is huge for us."
Robidas and Kovalchuk traded power-play goals in the opening period, and Lehtinen's score while Dallas was killing a penalty to Krystofer Barch gave the Stars a 2-1 lead after the first.
Slater and Antropov turned Atlanta's deficit into its first lead of the game by scoring 1:48 apart in the second. That led Dallas coach Marc Crawford to pull starter Alex Auld, who stopped 12 of 15 shots, for Turco. It ended up 3-3 heading into the third after Benn beat Pavelec 1:58 before the intermission.
The final 20 minutes of regulation featured a flurry of activity. Robidas put the Stars back in front at 4:43 with his second man-advantage goal of the game. Afinogenov answered at 8:27 on a Thrashers power play.
With Christoph Schubert in the box for hooking, a call that infuriated Atlanta coach John Anderson, it was the Thrashers turn to come up with a shorthanded goal that gave them back the lead. Pavelec first denied Robidas' bid for the hat trick, then Colby Armstrong set up Peverley for what looked as if it might be the deciding goal before the fluke play that saw Eriksson even the score one more time.
"I didn't like our game overall, but I loved our competitiveness," Anderson said.
Despite registering a three-point night of his own, Robidas couldn't muster up much enthusiasm for it because of the final result.
"They have shooters, and when you have a team like that, you have to match it," he said. "That's not the way we want to play."
Material from wire services was used in this report.