Thrashers' Pavelec collapses, later asks score

To say the Atlanta Thrashers are snakebit would be an understatement.

One playoff appearance in 10 years. General apathy towards that club in the Peachtree City - two seasons ago, the Thrashers were 29th with 14,626 per game. Last season, they rose to 28th, but packed in an average of 13,607 at Philips Arena.

Marian Hossa? Gone. Ilya Kovalchuk? Ditto. Kari Lehtonen? Well, the few fans in Blueland need to be thankful for something.

After a winless preseason, you can imagine the pall that was cast some 2 1/2 minutes into Friday's regular-season opener when during a stoppage, new starting netminder Ondrej Pavelec appeared to point toward one of the benches before keeling over backwards.

The names and thoughts came fast - Jiri Fischer, and in the worst case scenario, Alexei Cherepanov.

Now, there is some positive news. Pavelec, 23, is in stable condition in an area hospital. He even asked the score, a 4-2 Atlanta win over Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.

“You’re thinking about his family and everything. It’s awful,” backup Chris Mason told The Associated Press. “Honestly, it was really tough. When I first went in there, I could barely concentrate. I couldn’t even think about playing a game.”

Needless to say, Pavelec will miss Saturday's game versus the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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