When is a goal not a goal… and still not a goal… and then later IS a goal?

Late in the third period of Penguins vs. Flyers on Saturday, March 18, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, apparently. 

With goaltender Steve Mason pulled for an extra attacker, the Penguins were looking to secure their victory with an empty net goal.  Defenseman Kris Letang, posted at the top of the vacated crease, tipped in a Chris Kunitz pass to give the Pens a 4-1 win.   Or so he thought. 

Initally, the goal was waved off for a distinct kicking motion. Further review confirmed that call.  After one more turn with the headset, referee Steve Kozari cleared things up:

“No distinct kicking motion. Good goal.”

Here’s the full sequence:

We can’t fault the referee here.  He made the initial call, then was at the mercy of the NHL’s Situation Room and their review decision. 

It’s easy to imagine that a crackling phone line could easily cut off a very important “no” that preceded the words “kicking motion” that would’ve made a huge difference.

Unfortunately for both Kozari and the Situation Room, it sounded like something may have been lost in transmission. Perhaps it’s time to check into their wireless carrier.   Can you hear me now?