New York Rangers disallowed goal should have counted

new york rangers
May 3, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant argues with linesman Shandor Alphonso (52) during the third period against the Pittsburgh Penguins in game one of the third round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers disallowed goal was a turning point. The decision to overturn what was a called goal on the ice likely robbed them of a Game 1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night.

With 3:10 remaining in the third period of a tie game, Kaapo Kakko stripped Penguins’ defenseman Brian Dumoulin of the puck. The young Finn came flying in two-on-one with Alexis Lafrenière.

As he draws closer to Casey DeSmith’s glove side, Kakko turns his skates perpendicular to cut across the crease and try a stuff in to the opposite side. A beaten Dumoulin can be seen clearly on the replay putting his head in Kakko’s back and pushing him into the goalie.

As the trio collided, Kakko follows up with a pass back to Filip Chytil, who popped it into a gaping net for what should’ve been the game-winner.

Referee Chris Lee reviewed the play and determined Kakko interfered with DeSmith and disallowed the goal. The Penguins would go on to win 4-3 it off a deflection from by Evgeni Malkin in triple OT.

“To me it was a 50/50 call and I felt it was going to go against us,” Gerard Gallant said afterwards. “I can’t argue with that.”

New York Rangers disallowed goal

Rangers disallowed goal
Rangers disallowed goal

Despite what Gallant said, Chytil’s goal should have counted.

Here’s the key aspect regarding the NHL’s rule for goalie interference:

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 to be contact initiated by the attacking player for purposes of this rule, provided the attacking player has made a reasonable effort to avoid such contact.

Note: The NHL did not provide any further explanation as to why the goal was disallowed leaving one to assume that they felt Kakko intentionally ran the goalie or did not make an effort to avoid contact.

In the video posted by Sportsnet, you can clearly see one angle that Kakko’s skates turn to cut across the crease. It also shows Dumoulin put his head into Kakko’s back and push him forward as he’s trying to make the move to DeSmith’s right.

“Tough, you want those calls to go your way,” Ryan Strome said via NHL.com. “Game happens so fast. … I thought it was a call that could go either way. To look back on something like that now, I mean, it was a three-overtime game, so you could look back on many small plays in the game.”

While it seemed many were on the fence, MSG Analyst and CEO of Clear Sight Analytics, Steve Valiquette said he saw that very same goal allowed just two weeks ago.

Update: NHL explanation for “No-Goal Call”

Explanation: Video review determined New York’s Kaapo Kakko impaired Casey DeSmith’s ability to play his position in the crease prior to Filip Chytil’s goal. The decision was made in accordance with Rule 69.1 which states, in part, “Goals should be disallowed only if: (1) an attacking player, either by his positioning or by contact, impairs the goalkeeper’s ability to move freely within his crease or defend his goal.”

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Officials had a bad night

Fans in attendance at the Garden and at home all had issues with the officiating last night. The Rangers were given one power play in the game and that was in the first period, where Adam Fox scored.

From that point on, the Penguins played a saintly hockey game in the eyes of the referees. Chris Lee in particular was booed by the crowd almost all throughout the overtime sessions.

New York was called for four penalties in the game, most of which were warranted. However, late in the second period, with the Penguins on the man-advantage due to a Patrik Nemeth holding call, Chris Kreider scored a shorthanded goal to restore the lead at 3-2.

The Garden was rocking, but a questionable boarding penalty on Jacob Trouba just 42 seconds after the goal gave Pittsburgh a 5-on-3 PP that they converted to tie the game again.

Game Two of the series is set for tomorrow night at the Garden at 7:00 PM ET.

NHL Playoffs Scores

Catch up on all the NHL Playoff action at The Daily Goal Horn. The Penguins take Game 1 over the Rangers as the Caps, Avs, and Flames win their openers. Read more.