In case you missed it, the Washington Capitals stormed out to a 2-0 lead in the first period of Game 2 this afternoon against the Pittsburgh Penguins, first off the strength of an Alex Ovechkin snipe and then off a Jakub Vrana power play goal.
Or… at least that’s how it appeared until Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan elected to challenge Vrana’s goal for goaltender interference.
Here’s the play in question:
Tough to see from this replay, but prior to Vrana getting his shot through and behind Penguins goaltender Matt Murray, Caps forward Brett Connolly clearly interferes with Murray.
Here’s a closer look:
It’s pretty clear from this replay that Connolly interferes with Murray, there’s no real questioning that. The question is though whether or not the interference affected Murray’s ability to make a save on Vrana’s shot. The interference comes before Vrana even has the puck and Murray appears to get set and square to Vrana before getting beat by his shot.
The call on the ice from the officials? Good goal. The call from Toronto in the NHL’s Situation Room? Good goal.
The call from Penguins fans all over the world? WTF!?
As you might imagine, Penguins fans were NOT happy with the NHL’s decision on this call and they took to social media to share their displeasure.
Wow... tell us how you really feel, Pens fans!?! Clearly the Pens fanbase was rattled by this call. For what it's worth, head coach Mike Sullivan also appeared absolutely IRATE with the officials following the "good goal" announcement over the arena loudspeaker.
You know who wasn’t phased by the goal call though? Murray, himself. Just moments after the officials dropped the puck to resume play following review, Murray makes perhaps the save of the playoffs on a wide open Ovechkin.
Check it out:
Oh. My. That’s just FILTHY. You know that Murray has come to play… as for his teammates? Well… they’ll have some work to do if they’re going to get back into this game. Hmmm… down 2 heading into the second half of the game? Sound familiar, Pens fans?