Making his way to San Antonio last Saturday to join his Milwaukee Admirals teammates, it didn't take long for Rich Peverley to return to Nashville.
After getting picked up off waivers by Atlanta that afternoon from the Predators, the Thrashers' new center faces his former team on Saturday night at the Sommet Center.
Peverley had two assists and scored the game-winner in overtime on Friday night as Atlanta (15-25-5) rallied from a 3-0 deficit and snapped its two-game slide by defeating visiting Toronto 4-3. The 26-year-old had seven goals and 13 assists in 73 career games with Nashville.
"It's tremendous to be able to contribute," Peverley said following his first career three-point game. "To get an overtime winner was great but it was also a great play by (Ilya) Kovalchuk."
Kovalchuk, named team captain on Sunday, had an assist and two goals against the Maple Leafs - both set up by Peverley. In his last nine games, Kovalchuk - an All-Star reserve - has seven goals and four assists.
Kovalchuk had a goal in Atlanta's 4-3 overtime loss to Nashville on Nov. 28 at Philips Arena.
Before the Thrashers' captain scored 1:10 into the second period on Friday, Johan Hedberg's evening was over. In his first start since a 43-save effort against Toronto on Dec. 30, Hedberg gave up three goals in the first period on Friday before being pulled for Kari Lehtonen, who stopped all nine shots he faced.
"It wasn't the start we wanted, but after the first period we woke up and I think we played our best two periods," Kovalchuk said.
In his only career start against the Predators, Lehtonen made 23 saves in a 4-3 shootout win on Jan. 11, 2006.
While Atlanta is coming off just its third home win since Nov. 14, the Predators return to Nashville following a 1-2-0 road trip that ended with a 3-2 loss to Montreal on Thursday night.
The Predators are averaging just 1.89 goals in their last 18 games (6-11-1) since winning three straight from Dec. 1-6.
Leading scorer J.P. Dumont scored his first goal since Dec. 8 on Thursday for Nashville (20-21-3), which was without two of its top four scorers - defenseman Shea Weber and center Jason Arnott.
"We missed those two guys but they're missing people, too, and we don't use that as an excuse," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "We had some chances."
Weber, who injured his foot in Tuesday's 2-0 win over Toronto, did not practice Friday but could face the Thrashers pending the results of a doctor's visit. Weber leads all NHL defensemen with 13 goals and is second on the Predators with 31 points.
After missing his third straight game on Thursday with a lower body injury, Arnott practiced on Friday and could return Saturday.
Arnott has four goals and four assists in his last seven games against Atlanta.
Pekka Rinne stopped 17 of the Canadiens' 20 shots on Thursday after going 3-0-0 with a 0.77 GAA in his previous three starts. Rinne made 22 saves in Nashville's win at Philips Arena on Nov. 28.
The Predators have won three of four meetings with the Thrashers in Nashville.