SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Too little, too late was the story of the Florida Panthers' season.
Mike Van Ryn's overtime goal, his second score of the game, lifted the Panthers past the Atlanta Thrashers 2-1 on Tuesday night. Van Ryn took a pass from Joe Nieuwendyk in the left circle and his slap shot went over the shoulder of Adam Berkhoel at 1:34 of overtime.
"I just tried to find a seam," Van Ryn said. "Nieuwendyk made a great pass to me and the goalie was down, so all I had to do was put it upstairs.
"It would have been nice early on (in the season), but it ends the season on a positive note."
Roberto Luongo had 39 saves for the Panthers. About a minute before Van Ryn's goal, Luongo snagged the puck with his glove on a shot fired by Vyacheslav Kozlov from the right circle.
"It's nice to go out with a win, but at the end of the day our guys are disappointed we didn't make it to the playoffs," Luongo said. "All in all, I think we should be proud of the way we played in the second half and carry it over into next year."
Steve McCarthy scored and Berkhoel, who was recalled from Chicago (AHL) for the game, made 28 saves for Atlanta.
"Usually I get uptight for games in the NHL, but tonight it was just go out there and have fun," Berkhoel said.
The Panthers tied the score 1-1 four minutes into the second period. Olli Jokinen brought the puck along the boards and shoved it backward from the goal line. It deflected off Van Ryn's stick and into the net.
Atlanta opened the scoring late in the first period after McCarthy's wrist shot from the point beat Luongo on the glove side.
"In the early part of the season we found a way to lose most of these games," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "It's nice to win it to finish the season."
The Thrashers were eliminated from the playoffs after losing to Washington 6-4 on Monday.
"This morning in the dressing room they were as down as I've seen a hockey club," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. "Tonight they showed a lot of character. I have tremendous respect for this team."
Notes: Atlanta's Scott Mellanby said after the game he has not made any decision about retiring. ... Florida's Rostislav Olesz missed his second consecutive game with ligament inflammation in his right knee. ... Florida's Chris Gratton broke his right foot last Saturday and missed the season finale. ... Atlanta notched a club-record 90 points this season. ... The Panthers' 85 points were their fourth-highest season total.
|Steve McCarthy (9) Snap shot - ASST: Marian Hossa (53), Patrik Stefan (14)|
1 - 0 ATL
|Mike Van Ryn (7) Backhand shot - ASST: Olli Jokinen (50), Gary Roberts (26)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Mike Van Ryn (8) Slapshot - ASST: Joe Nieuwendyk (30), Olli Jokinen (51)|
2 - 1 FLA
|Jozef Stumpel Hooking|
|Gary Roberts Holding|
|Steve Montador Interference|
|Peter Bondra Tripping|
|Greg De Vries Interference|
|Steve McCarthy Hooking|
|Nathan Horton Holding|
|Juraj Kolnik Holding|
|Marian Hossa Roughing|