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Stevenson scores two, Thrashers open pre-season with victory over Predators

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - 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 pre-season opener for both teams.

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.

Pekka Rinne started in goal for Nashville and played the first two periods before being relieved by Mark Dekanich at the start of the third. After allowing two goals on the first four shots he faced, Rinne finished the game with 16 saves. Dekanich turned aside eight of the nine shots he faced.

Ondrej Pavelec played the entire game in goal for the Thrashers. He looked strong, finishing with 36 saves.

In a penalty-filled game, Atlanta finished with two power-play goals in 11 opportunities. Nashville scored one power-play goal in eight attempts with the man advantage.

Jones scored on a deflection of Klein's slap shot from the right point. Nashville coach Barry Trotz likes Jones' size and willingness to battle in front of the opponent's net. The former Miami University standout was acquired in an off-season trade with the Minnesota Wild, and is a strong candidate to compete for a spot on one of Nashville's top offensive lines.

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