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Washington Capitals 1, Florida Panthers 4 FINAL

NHL.com @NHL

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) _ Donald Audette and the Florida Panthers took full advantage of the distracted Washington Capitals.

Audette scored two power-play goals to reach 500th career points, and Florida beat Washington 4-1 on Friday night just hours after the Capitals traded star Jaromir Jagr to the Rangers.

``I really wasn't thinking about it,'' Audette said. ``It wasn't on my mind, but it is nice to finally have it over with.''

The Capitals and Rangers completed the deal before the game, with Jagr going to New York in exchange for Anson Carter.

``It's never a nice situation when someone gets traded,'' Washington center Robert Lang said. ``We're losing a friend and a great player. It's tough on everybody.''

The Panthers snapped a two-game losing skid, both at home, and won for only the second time in their last six, while Washington has dropped two straight overall and five in a row on the road.

Audette, signed as an unrestricted free agent on Jan. 16, scored his first two goals for the Panthers. He has 256 goals and 244 assists in his 15-year career with Buffalo, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Montreal and Florida.

Juraj Kolnik also scored on a power play, and Byron Ritchie added a goal for Florida.

Roberto Luongo, selected to the All-Star game Thursday, had 28 saves for the Panthers.

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead on Audette's power-play goal at 5:42 of the first period. Audette, working from the left corner, rifled a shot past goalie Olaf Kolzig.

``You throw it to the net and a lot of things can happen,'' he said. ``I was just trying to make a pass close to the net and it went in. My job is to contribute. I'm on the first line, and they're giving me ice time.''

The Panthers made it 2-0 a minute into the second period on Byron Ritchie's goal. Ritchie scored on a blast from just above the left circle, burying the puck just under the crossbar.

Kolnik pushed the lead to three goals on a power play midway through the second, and Washington got on the board with Joel Kwiatkowski's power-play goal early in the third period. Audette completed the scoring about six minutes into the third.

``This was a game that you could sense we wouldn't let slip away,'' Florida coach Rick Dudley said. ``They took a lot of penalties, and you worry that maybe we'll get five or six straight against us, but that wasn't the case.''

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