Pavelec back from conditioning, expected to start Saturday in first appearance since collapse

ATLANTA – Ondrej Pavelec had rejoined the Atlanta Thrashers and is expected to start Saturday night at St. Louis in his first appearance since collapsing on opening night.

Pavelec made one rehab appearance for Atlanta’s minor-league affiliate in Chicago, stopping 19 of 22 shots in a 4-1 loss to Oklahoma City. He’s set to serve as Chris Mason’s backup in Friday night’s home game against Buffalo, then be back in the nets against the Blues.

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Pavelec suffered a common fainting spell just 2½ minutes into the Oct. 8 opener against Washington. He fell backward and sustained a concussion when his head struck the ice. Extensive tests showed no other serious medical problems.

Mason will be making his ninth straight start since Pavelec collapsed.