In the end, the Washington Capitals couldn't stop Carter Verhaeghe, not Jonathan Huberdeau or Aleksander Barkov.
When he scored in overtime of Game 6 on Friday, he sent the Florida Panthers to the Second Round for the first time in 26 years and the Washington Capitals to their fourth straight First Round exit.
It's a disappointing end for Washington, not only because it's an older team nearing the end of its run, but also because it had plenty of chances to win.
The Presidents' Trophy-winning Panthers didn't run the Capitals out of the building, and it wasn't the one-sided mismatch many expected.
They kept the Panthers in check and led (including by three goals!) in the last three games (all losses).
This, combined with the fact that they haven't advanced in the playoffs since winning the Stanley Cup in 2018, will lead to offseason questions about the team's identity and potential.
The Capitals haven't won the Presidents' Trophy or Stanley Cup since 2016, 2017, and 2018. But they're good.