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Don Koharski skates up ice with Washington's Shaone Morrisonn in the referee's final NHL game. ((Steve Nesius/Associated Press))

Referee Don Koharski worked Thursday night's game between the Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning, far from unhappy that it was the final one of his 32-year career.

"I'm ready," Koharski said before the game. "I just finished my last road trip, four games in eight days. At about day six of the road trip, I said, 'Yeah, I made the right decision."'

Koharski worked in the World Hockey Association before appearing in his first NHL game as a linesman on Oct. 14, 1977, a game between the Colorado Rockies and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

He refereed his first NHL game on Nov, 18, 1981, a match between the Rockies and Washington.

Koharski would go on to work all-star games and over 260 playoff games, with 11 appearances in the Stanley Cup finals. He also officiated in Canada Cup and World Cup of Hockey action.

The 53-year-old is expected to join NHL management to work with and recruit on-ice officials.