Peverley returns to Nashville after big break

Rich Peverley found his big break here, on the ice.

Peverley said he will always be thankful to the Predators organization for giving him a chance to play in the NHL. They also gave him a chance to play in Atlanta, after the franchise waived him in the middle of last season.

Peverley returned to Nashville on Saturday for the second time as an opposing player.

“These guys gave me an opportunity to get into the league and get my foot in the door,” Peverley said. “I’m really appreciative of that. It’s a great place to play. I loved playing here when I did.”

Peverley faced his old mates last season in Nashville, seven days after he was waived. He made them pay with a three-assist game in a 7-4 Thrashers win.

Hedberg back in goal

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Johan Hedberg started in goal for the Thrashers on Saturday, his fourth consecutive start.

In Hedberg’s past four starts, he has allowed six goals (1.5 goals-against average) and stopped 116 of 122 shots (.950 save percentage).

“He has been playing very well, and you might as well play your hot hand, right?” Thrashers coach John Anderson said.

Kozlov out

Slava Kozlov was a healthy scratch for the fourth consecutive game Saturday. The veteran forward has not played since having his franchise-record streak of 251 consecutive games stopped.

Anderson said he does not believe the move will be an issue for the team.

“I spoke to him yesterday,” Anderson said. “He wants to play like anybody else. He can understand the situation a bit. He will eventually get back in the lineup at some point. He’s working really hard in practice. He hasn’t said a word. He’s a consummate professional. It’s very hard for me to tell him he’s not playing, but that’s where we are right now and I have to think of the team first.”

Mark Popovic was the team’s other scratch, missing his 27th consecutive game.

Road trip

Nearly 500 Thrashers fans attended the game as part of a trip organized by the Atlanta Thrashers Fan Club.

Road weary

Predators players and coaches did not get back to Nashville until midnight (Central time) after playing in Detroit on Friday night. The Predators dropped a 4-2 decision despite holding a 49-29 shots-on-goal advantage. It was the most shots in a road game in franchise history.

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