(WASHINGTON) — The Florida Panthers (37-26-18) lost to the Washington Capitals (41-32-8) on Thursday night, 4-2, but ended a 10-year drought and will be in this year’s fight for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
The Buffalo Sabres were eliminated from the playoffs after they fell to the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1, which also clinched a playoff spot for the Capitals.
“It’s been a long 10 years,” said Panthers center Stephen Weiss, who has been with the Panthers since he was drafted No. 4 overall in 2001. “You wonder if you’re doing the right thing. At the end of the day, it was worth staying.”
Alex Ovechkin scored a goal for Washington, a team coming off a season in which they fired their head coach.
“This year it was kind of a struggling season,” said Ovechkin, who scored his 37th goal of the season. “Nobody knows who’s going to be in playoffs, us or Buffalo. Buffalo was fighting a lot and today when we see the score sheet — Philly help us a lot and give us a break.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN