Referees Rob Martell and Dan O'Halloran discuss the Wings' game-tying goal

Referees Rob Martell and Dan O’Halloran discuss the Wings’ game-tying goal on Saturday night

Detroit defenseman Nicklas Kronwall made an amazing play to tie the Wings game against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.  Only, it wasn’t a legal goal — and everyone wearing stripes missed it.

The refs called it a good goal.  The NHL’s Situation Room, which reviews each goal scored in the league, could only validate that the puck went in legally.  They’re not able to call it back because the puck went into the netting.   That’s not reviewable.

Take a look.  It’s pretty obvious:

The officials are all watching the players, as you can see in the replays.  Not one of them noticed that the puck had technically left the playing area and deflected off the netting.  And since they didn’t notice, this was the right call.

NHL Rule 85.1:


 If the puck striking the spectator netting goes unnoticed by the on-ice officials, play shall continue as normal and resulting play with the puck shall be deemed a legitimate play. Players must not stop playing the game until they hear the whistle to do so. 

Making things worse was the fact that it went directly off the netting into the net.   This wasn’t a puck-off-the-netting-into-the-corner situation. Off the netting, off the goalie, nothing but net.


Puck luck – and a well-timed miss by the referees – indeed.


Here’s the official ruling from the NHL:

At 19:33 of the third period in the Kings/Red Wings game, the puck crossed the Los Angeles goal line and, following a discussion between the four on-ice officials, the referees awarded a goal to Detroit.

Video of the play appears to show the puck hitting the protective mesh above the glass before deflecting off goaltender Jonathan Quick and into the Los Angeles net.

While the Situation Room examined the video, this is not a reviewable play therefore the referee’s call on the ice stands.