Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos scored a goal after being left all alone in the offensive zone on Monday night against the Montreal Canadiens. In fact, he was there before the puck was. So why wasn’t he offside? Take a look at the goal:
From Rule 83.1 – Off-side:
If a player legally carries or passes the puck back into his own defending zone while a player of the opposing team is in such defending zone, the off-side shall be ignored and play permitted to continue.
That’s exactly what happened here. Stamkos was left in the offensive zone when the Canadiens gained control of the puck. When Habs forward Max Pacioretty passed the puck back, Stamkos was permitted to play the puck, even though he was over the blueline. Veteran linesman Scott Driscoll had a clear view of the play and rightfully allowed it to continue.
We had a similar play happen earlier this year, when a defensive clear deflected off a defending player in the neutral zone and re-entered the zone, where it was played by the opposing team. That play lead to a great scoring chance.
Tonight, we saw a similar situation lead to another. This time, Steven Stamkos took advantage of the opportunity.