After further review, the Rangers lose. New York defenseman Dan Boyle scored the apparent shootout winner in the third round of the post-game skills competition.
The Rangers celebrated. Both teams filed off their benches and headed toward their respective locker rooms. The horn sounded, signalling a call from Toronto. Referee Kelly Sutherland headed to the phone.
There was no goal on the play. The shootout would continue.
Review of the play caught the fact that the puck deflected off the post, off Boyle’s stick, and past Fleury. That subtle bounce would’ve been impossible to spot with the naked eye, especially at full speed. On a penalty shot or in a shootout, only the initial shot counts — there’s no rebounds or deflections permitted once the shot has been taken. The NHL Rulebook spells it out:
Rule 24.2: The puck must be kept in motion towards the opponent’s goal line and once it is shot, the play shall be considered complete. No goal can be scored on a rebound of any kind (an exception being the puck off the goal post or crossbar, then the goalkeeper and then directly into the goal), and any time the puck crosses the goal line or comes to a complete stop, the shot shall be considered complete.
Linesman David Brisebois called the Blueshirts back from their locker room. His partner, Pierre Racicot, stood on the ice, waving the players back to the benches. When the shootout unexpectedly resumed, Brandon Sutter blasted one past Henrik Lundqvist, who, moments ago, was breathing a sigh of relief after escaping CONSOL Energy Center with a shootout win. At the other end of the rink, Nash was unable to beat Fleury.
“I can’t believe it,” said Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin. “The whole team was in the locker room already and we were mad that we lost, but it’s a double-tip. It’s the rule, and we go back and win. It’s history now.”
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” added defensman Dan Boyle said, despite his sixteen seasons and nearly 1000 games played in the NHL.
It was crazy. It was unexpected. For the Rangers, it was unfortunate. But it was correct. “It wasn’t a good goal. It was the right call,” said Vigneault.
The Penguins – with the help of a Toronto video review – had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
Here’s the official ruling from the NHL’s Situation Room:
In the shootout of the New York Rangers/Pittsburgh Penguins game, the Situation Room initiated a video review because the puck rebounded off the post before it deflected off Dan Boyle’s stick and into the Pittsburgh net. According to Rule 24.2, “No goal can be scored on a rebound of any kind.” No goal New York Rangers.
At the time this was published, the Penguins had still won the game. There’s been no word from Toronto to the contrary. Yet.