Does a goal count if the puck never crosses the line? In this case, it didn’t even come close.
New York Rangers forward Rick Nash scored his first goal of the season – and his 700th career point – without even putting the proverbial biscuit in the basket.
With the Rangers leading 3-1, the Arizona Coyotes pulled goaltender Mike Smith for an extra attacker. After corralling the puck at center ice, Nash headed in with what looked like an easy empty-net goal. That is, until he was hooked from behind by Coyotes center Mikkel Boedker.
Rick Nash's 700th career point is a goal in which the puck never enters the net pic.twitter.com/MJtHBJdHox
— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 23, 2015
Rule 25.1 covers Awarded Goals, as does Rule 57.4 (which is referenced by Rule 55.6, Hooking):
25.1 Awarded Goal – A goal will be awarded to the attacking team when the opposing team has taken their goalkeeper off the ice and an attacking player has possession and control of the puck in the neutral or attacking zone, without a defending player between himself and the opposing goal, and he is prevented from scoring as a result of an infraction committed by the defending team.
57.4 Awarded Goal – If, when the opposing goalkeeper has been removed from the ice, a player in control of the puck (or who could have obtained possession and control of the puck) in the neutral or attacking zone is tripped or otherwise fouled with no opposition between him and the opposing goal, thus preventing a reasonable scoring opportunity, the Referee shall immediately stop play and award a goal to the attacking team.
That’s precisely what referee TJ Luxmore did, giving the Rangers a 4-1 lead.