NEW YORK – Joel Ward of the Washington Capitals had been crowding New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist’s crease during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinal on Friday night. But in the second period, the refs felt he crowded a bit too much, negating a Capitals goal.
With 2:09 left in the second, and the game scoreless, Ward and Derek Stepan of the Rangers were jockeying for position. Matt Niskanen fired a shot from the top of the zone; it deflected off Ward and into the net.
Immediately, the official standing near the goal waived off the tally on account of contact between Ward and Lundqvist.
Here’s another look:
Was it the right call? Letter of the law, it was. The NHL gives way too much leeway to its goalies in situations like this; from the rulebook, this about covers it, right?
If an attacking player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by a defending player so as to cause him to come into contact with the goalkeeper, such contact will not be deemed contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.If a defending player has been pushed, shoved, or fouled by an attacking player so as to cause the defending player to come into contact with his own goalkeeper, such contact shall be deemed￼ contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, and if necessary a penalty assessed to the attacking player and if a goal is scored it would be disallowed.
If an attacking player initiates contact with a goalkeeper, incidental or otherwise, while the goalkeeper is in his goal crease, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed. If a goalkeeper, in the act of establishing his position within his goal crease, initiates contact with an attacking player who is in the goal crease, and this results in an impairment of the goalkeeper’s ability to defend his goal, and a goal is scored, the goal will be disallowed.
Stepan's contact wasn't enough, and Ward had too much contact woith Lundqvist.
Frustrating one for Caps fans, but the right call.
UPDATE: Coach Barry Trotz felt it Ward was pushed in. "I felt two thngs -- that Lundqvist came out outside the blue and engaged a little bit of contact and then Ward was pushed in."
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