SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – It is mission accomplished for the Florida Panthers.

They will finish the 2021-22 regular season as the best team in hockey. The Panthers won the Presidents’ Trophy on Thursday night after winning in Ottawa and Colorado losing well after midnight. It’s another well-deserved honor in the franchise’s best ever season and one of the best seasons in NHL history.

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Historic Winning
With one game left, Friday night in Montreal, the Panthers are tied for the 5th most wins in a season.

A remarkable feat when put in perspective. Only 4 teams in the storied history on the NHL have finished a season with more wins than this Panthers team. Let that sink in.

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Thursday night’s victory epitomized what this group has been about. The Panthers rested many of their star players including Jonathon Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov. Seven of the 11 scorers did not play.

So, others stepped up, including players that are often scratched, like Maxim Mamin, to lead the way in a 4-0 win. Three players were called up from the minor league and stepped in seamlessly. Goaltender Spencer Knight bounced back from a loss to earn his 2nd career shutout. Those top players along with Sergei Bobrovsky are done for the regular season. They will rest again tonight and get ready for next week’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

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It will not be known until after Friday night whether the Panthers will host game one on Monday or Tuesday, and who it will be against. The outcome of Friday’s Washington and Pittsburgh games will determine that. The Cats seem primed and ready for next week’s playoffs. They are 23-4-1 that last two months.

Steven "Goldie" Goldstein