NHL Game Summary - Washington at Florida
(Saturday, April 11th)
Final Score: Florida 7, Washington 4
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - David Booth finished off his season in style, scoring twice and assisting three times, as the Florida Panthers ended their campaign with a 7-4 victory over the Southeast Division champion Washington Capitals.
Booth became the sixth player in franchise history to pass the 30-goal plateau, finishing the season with 31 for Florida (41-30-11), which was eliminated from playoff contention despite a win over Atlanta on Thursday. Radek Dvorak, Bryan McCabe, Steve Eminger and Michael Frolik also scored in the victory.
"I wish we could have (won) one more time throughout the year," Booth said. "And then we'd probably be playing (top-seeded) Boston. It's really hard to swallow that it came down to one point."
Tomas Vokoun made 37 saves in the win.
Alexander Semin scored twice for the Capitals (50-24-8), who will face the seventh-seeded New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Brooks Laich and Alexander Ovechkin also scored, but Jose Theodore allowed six goals on 41 shots in the defeat.
"Obviously, things have gone well for us. We need to finish strong here," Caps defenseman Mike Green said of the season. "We accomplished some things this year that are great, but until we win (the Stanley Cup), it doesn't mean anything."
Washington got on the board early, as Semin deflected a clearing attempt and dished to Laich, who beat Vokoun at 10:15.
Florida tied the game with 4:10 to play. Booth grabbed a loose puck from the right circle and just fired it on net casually, but the disc somehow made its way through to the goal for his 30th of the season.
Dvorak's 15th goal of the year at the 8:20 mark of the second put the Panthers in front, 2-1. On a power play 3 1/2 minutes later, McCabe put Florida ahead by two with his 15th tally of the season.
Semin brought the Caps to within one with 4:07 remaining in the middle frame, scoring his 33rd goal of the campaign when he deked around Vokoun in front and deposited the puck into the empty net.
Semin added his second goal of the game at the 3:27 mark of the third to tie the game at three.
Florida quickly went back ahead with 13:12 still to play, as Booth snuck the puck past Theodore's stick from the left circle.
Ovechkin tied the game at 4-4 on his league-best 56th goal of the season with 6:52 to go, but the Panthers scored twice in eight seconds to seal the win. Former Capital Eminger notched his fifth of the season at 15:32, and Frolik scored on a rush off the ensuing faceoff to put Florida ahead by two.
Nick Tarnasky added an empty-net goal in the final seconds to seal the win.
The teams split the season series, 3-3...The Panthers have not made the postseason since 1999-2000...The Caps had a three-game win streak snapped...Washington failed in an attempt to set a franchise record for wins. They tied the record with 50, originally set during the 1985-86 season...Florida ended with a 22-12-7 home record, while Washington was 21-15-5 on the road...Semin and Ovechkin each posted an assist...Frolik had a pair of assists, while McCabe had one.
04/11 23:37:56 ET