The All-Star game always brings plenty of goals. Never before, though, have we seen one called back on a Coach’s Challenge.
Ryan Kesler’s pass to Connor McDavid deflected off defenseman Ryan McDonagh’s skates and past goaltender Braden Holtby to give the Pacific Division a 4-2 lead.
Metropolitan Division coach Wayne Gretzky – filling in admirably for the absent John Tortorella – wasn’t so sure about that zone entry. Linesmen Steve Barton and David Brisebois headed to the penalty box for a second look. Upon further review, McDavid’s skate appeared to precede the puck into the zone.
Referee Mike Leggo broke the news: “After review, we have no goal! The player was offside.”
The disallowed goal was a momentum changer, bringing it back to a one-goal game. The Metro Division squad took advantage, scoring twice in the next 1:42 en route to a 4-3 victory.
“[The challenge] helped us win, right?” asked Wayne Simmonds, who scored the game-winner. “That was the play. That was the game changer. That was the decision. Obviously he’s got a great hockey mind. He pulls that card, it’s offside, and come back, we score two goals and we win the game, so obviously it was a great decision.”