The New Jersey Devils thought they had scored to tie the game with 11:32 left in the third. The goal, though, was waved off due to an intended whistle.
Columbus had been called for a penalty, but play continued as the Devils had control of the puck. Blue Jackets forward Gregory Campbell appeared to make contact with the puck before the puck ended up in the corner, where it was then passed to Henrique for the potential game-tying goal.
The officials got together to discuss the play, quickly coming to a consensus on the situation.
“There is no goal on the play,” announced referee Graham Skilliter. “The whistle should have sounded before. Number 71 on Columbus with the penalty – two minutes for holding.”
The rulebook covers this in Rule 78.5, which says that goals may be disallowed “when the Referee deems the play has been stopped, even if he had not physically had the opportunity to stop play by blowing his whistle.”
That seems to be the case here.
Again, the linesman saw the puck shot by Campbell into corner, but the can't stop play. Told referee after stoppage. https://t.co/5Q7uDMKnHU
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) November 26, 2015
@TGfireandice On delayed penalty it was determined in conference of officials that Campbell shot puck away in traffic & whistle should blow.
— Kerry Fraser (@kfraserthecall) November 26, 2015
By rule, that call had to be decided on the ice. A whistle on a delayed penalty is not eligible for coach’s challenge, nor is the play able to be reviewed by the Situation Room. Much like a quick whistle when the puck is loose, this call is entirely handled by the officials on the ice.
Some angles appeared to show Campbell playing the puck.
Others were not so conclusive.
“The ref didn’t see it. The linesman saw it,” said Devils captain Andy Greene. “I don’t think the linesman can blow it dead, so I think that’s why it continued and when they talked about it afterward, that’s when the linesman stepped in and said something.”
“The referee just said that they had touched it and hit it into the corner,” said Devils head coach John Hynes. “I have no more comment on the referee or that decision.”
Referees for the game were Graham Skilliter and JeanHebert. Linesmen were Brian Murphy and Steve Miller.