Justin Abdelkader scores OT winner vs. Blues with broken stick (Video)

Sean Leahy

The Detroit Red Wings beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 in overtime on Sunday afternoon, padding their cushion ahead of Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators in the Atlantic Division's third spot.

The Wings prevailed with a couple of fortunate breaks. Their first goal occurred after the puck hit Blues defenseman Chris Butler in the face, allowing Erik Cole to poke it by Jake Allen. The winner came in controversial fashion.

Justin Abdelkader ended the game 24 seconds into the extra frame on the power play, but he did so using a broken stick, which is a no-no:


Here's part of NHL Rule 10.3:

“A broken stick is one which, in the opinion of the Referee, is unfit for normal play.

A player without a stick may participate in the game. A player whose stick is broken may participate in the game provided he drops the broken stick. A minor penalty shall be imposed for an infraction of this.”

By rule, Abdelkader was supposed to drop the broken stick and play on or grab a new one from the bench. Of course, there’s no time to think like that during a goalmouth scramble and the puck inches away from winning a game in overtime. Afterward, he wasn't sure if the stick had broken simultaneously with his shot or not.

There was plenty of confusion on the Blues' side in the minutes after the goal. When asked about the play, Allen said it was Alex Pietrangelo’s stick until he saw the replay show otherwise. David Backes said he was told by officials it wasn't a broken stick, which may fall under the "in the opinion of the Referee" part of the rule.

Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock obviously thought the goal should have not counted and gave one of the lines of the season when asked if that is a play that can be looked at by the officials:

The play, of course, was not reviewable, so we can already put this on the agenda the next time the NHL's general managers meet.

- - - - - - -

Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!