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Panthers close season with win over Caps

Apr 10, 2011 - 3:28 AM
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Bill Thomas' third-period goal allowed the worst team in the Eastern Conference to beat the best, as the Florida Panthers ended their miserable campaign by topping the Washington Capitals, 1-0.

Tomas Vokoun made 28 saves to finish with six shutouts on the season and snap Florida's 10-game skid. The Panthers (30-40-12) wound up with a meager 72 points.

"At least we won the last one," Vokoun said.

Michal Neuvirth made 22 saves for Washington, which already had the East's top seed wrapped up.

The Capitals (48-23-11) finished the regular season with 107 points and will play the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs.

"We've had trouble against the Rangers, but it's a different season for both of us," said Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau, whose club went 1-2-1 against New York during the regular season.

Vokoun stopped 17 shots through two periods, one more than Neuvirth in the game's first 40 minutes.

Thomas gave the Panthers the only goal they needed at the 13:55 mark of the third when he batted a pass out of mid-air at the right circle and between Neuvirth's pads.

Vokoun made 11 saves in the final stanza to record his 44th career shutout.

Game Notes

The Panthers finished 16-17-8 at home this season, while Washington went 23-15-3 on the road...The Caps were 16-2-1 in their previous 19 games...Capitals defenseman Mike Green was expected to return to the ice for the first time suffering a concussion on Feb. 25, but sat out once again.