Pete DeBoer likely coached his final game with the Panthers on Saturday night. Goalie Tomas Vokoun might have participated his final game with the team, as well.

If that is the case, the two will leave South Florida in winning fashion.

Behind a late goal by Bill Thomas and 28 saves from Vokoun, the Panthers ended what has turned into a miserable season on successful terms with a 1-0 victory over the Washington Capitals in their season finale at BankAtlantic Center.

Vokoun, who hadn't played since injuring his back March 27 at Pittsburgh, recorded his sixth shutout of the season, 44th of his career and 23rd since joining the Panthers in 2007.

"We've been talking about this for two month. [My emotions] are mixed," said DeBoer, who could learn his fate as early as Sunday. "I have had a lot of time for this to sink in. I'm not just dealing with it overnight. Again, we got the guys ready to play and they played right to the buzzer in the last game. I'm proud of the effort, not of the results."

Vokoun had been working with the Panthers for a week, saying he didn't want to have his season cut short because of a back injury, as last season had. He looked forward to playing Saturday as the Panthers saluted their fans — an announced 18,371 were on hand as Vokoun said afterward that they deserve plenty of credit for sticking around a team that hasn't made the playoffs for what is now an NHL-record 10 consecutive seasons.