LOS ANGELES – For the second straight game in the Stanley Cup final, the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers played into overtime. But it was a controversial goal by the Kings in the third period on Saturday night that set them on the path to what would end up being double overtime and LA winning 5-4 on a Dustin Brown deflection.
Kings forward Dwight King’s goal at 1:58 of the third period cut the Rangers’ lead to 4-3, and Marian Gaborik tied the game just under six minutes later.
King landed on top of goalie Henrik Lundqvist after jostling with defenseman Ryan McDonagh in front of the net. Matt Greene's shot deflected off of him and into the net. Lundqvist immediately looked around at the officials for an explanation for the non-call for goalie interference.
Here’s the goal:
Obviously, the legality of this play turns on whether King interfered with Lundqvist or whether McDonagh’s cross-check is what sent him barreling into the Rangers goalie. King appears to be trying to get to the front of the crease.
Lundqvist was livid after the Game 2 loss:
"I'm extremely disappointed on that call or non-call. They got to be consistent with that rule. We, in the second period, get called for a penalty and the puck is not even there. They score a goal and I can't even move. It's extremely frustrating for them to get life like that. After that, it's a different game. I don't expect a penalty on the play but they need to blow the whistle. A goalie can't move when you have a guy like that on top of you. It's such an important play of that game. I don't buy that explanation," he said.
King maintained he did nothing wrong.
“To be honest, once I gave it to Justin [Williams], I was just trying to get to the net front. Obviously Justin made a good play to get it to Matt [Greene] who put it on net, and somehow it went off me. We were just battling for position," he said.
“I was trying to get in front of [McDonagh], but I didn’t get there. I was fortunate enough for it to hit me, I guess.”
From the NHL rulebook:
“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.”
Is that a reasonable take on McDonagh’s role in this play, or should the goal have been wiped off the scoreboard due to King’s interference?
Based on the contact McDonagh initiated, the right call was made.